Seasonal food is one of the great benefits of our climate – notwithstanding the fact that we can buy summer fruit and veg grown elsewhere and flown into our supermarkets. If you look at local and seasonal foods, you are in for a treat.
Classic winter veggies include parsnips, swede, cauliflower, cabbage, celeriac, carrots and of course potatoes. Because some of these are starch-based, you need to be aware of which of these might have an effect on your blood sugars. You can eat your way through bowls of cabbage if you wish with no impact whatsoever on your blood glucose levels.
Potatoes are very high in starch, and have a high glycemic index. The only vegetable with a higher one is parsnips. Celeriac (celery root) is the root of a variety of celery (though a different variety than we usually eat as celery). It differs from most root vegetables in that it is not very starchy. The flavor is mild and reminiscent of celery. Swede can also be combined with potatoes and any other root vegetables to make a great topping for Shepherd’s pie or fish pie.
Root vegetable carb values per 100g, boiled and mashed
Carrots: 5 grams of carbohydrate
Celariac: 7 grams of carbohydrate
Beetroot: 7 grams of carbohydrate
Parsnips: 6 grams of carbohydrate
Potatoes: 10 grams of carbohydrate
Swede: 4 grams of carbohydrate
Turnips: 4 grams of carbohydrate
Food features and recipes like this appear in the Desang Diabetes Magazine, our free-to-receive digital journal. We cover diabetes news, diabetes ‘kit’ and information on food suitable for maintaining good blood glucose control or a diabetic diet, including a regular Making Carbs Count column. It’s free! Go to the top of this page to sign up – we just need your email address. See current and past issues at