Family fighting over Christmas? It’s the food you’re eating, shows new research

(Also read "Drought brings expensive bread, maize, meat, chicken and veggies for Christmas".)

Do you and your family often argue on Christmas day?

Blame it on the food, because now there’s proof that Christmas meals cause irritability.

This is according to leading food scientist Dr Paul Clayton of the Royal Society of Medicine.

Dr Clayton conducted an analysis of the effects of a “traditional” Christmas meal on the human body.

What he found was that the high glycaemic load and low vitamin count wreak havoc with our emotions.

Our review found that the traditional Christmas dinner leads to repeated rises and falls in blood sugar levels which give rise to feelings of irritability. These effects are further emphasised by the salt and alcohol intake.

Dr Paul Clayton

Dr Clayton has the following suggestions for a peaceful Christmas:

  • Start with salmon on rye bread with protein rich cream cheese and chives – a meal packed with calming phytonutrients.

  • Swop carb-heavy potatoes with artichokes or cauliflower.

  • Eat smaller portions of Christmas pudding with cranberries, blueberries, currents and mixed nuts. Top this with light crème fraiche – not cream – to cut calories while increasing nutrients.

  • Avoid alcohol; rather have fresh green, ginger or mint tea.

Scroll down for quotes from EatOut’s Anna Trapido who discusses this research in the audio below.

The two things all South Africans have in common over Christmas is that we eat too much and we argue with our families.

Anna Trapido

The food we eat over Christmas makes people vulnerable to squabbling.

Anna Trapido

Coleslaw is terribly unhealthy, because it’s packed with mayonnaise.

Anna Trapido

Beetroot – naturally full of vitamins – is boiled to death, leaving nothing left.

Anna Trapido

The amount of hidden sugar in pumpkin, butternut and carrot – you could just as well have eaten chocolate mousse!

Anna Trapido

Salmon is like fishy Prozac.

Anna Trapido

The nicest thing about the Christmas dinner is leftovers for Boxing Day.

Anna Trapido

We should be eating fish and seafood as well as low-GI vegetables.

Anna Trapido

Eat artichokes and fight less. But it’s not Christmas, is it?

Anna Trapido

702 welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

  • Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
  • Sexism
  • Homophobia
  • Religious intolerance
  • Cyber bullying
  • Hate speech
  • Derogatory language
  • Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the 702 community a safe and welcoming space for all.

702 reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

702 is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

Read More
How to overcome the fear of failure (and other tips from a serial entrepreneur)

How to overcome the fear of failure (and other tips from a serial entrepreneur)

Nic Haralambous knows a thing or three about starting a small business with almost no money. He offers this advice…

Meet Keith Kirsten, guru of gardening and world-renowned horticulturist

Meet Keith Kirsten, guru of gardening and world-renowned horticulturist

Bruce Whitfield interviews Kirsten about his 30-year-long career and his new franchise concept, Keith Kirsten Garden Centre.

Auschwitz concentration camp liberated on this day (27 January) in 1945

Auschwitz concentration camp liberated on this day (27 January) in 1945

The Red Army liberated Auschwitz - Nazi Germany’s largest concentration camp – on this day, 72 years ago.

31 000 people cross border between SA and Zim each day as Christmas approaches

31 000 people cross border between SA and Zim each day as Christmas approaches

Last week an average of 17 000 people per day were processed through the border post at Beit Bridge.

How Boney M. came to rule (to this day!) the airwaves during Christmas

How Boney M. came to rule (to this day!) the airwaves during Christmas

Boney M. dominates the airwaves (and instore radio) during the Christmas holidays. Music guru Sean Brokensha on how it happened…

Drought brings expensive bread, maize, meat, chicken and veggies for Christmas

Drought brings expensive bread, maize, meat, chicken and veggies for Christmas

Five staple food items on most South Africans’ shopping lists will soon – just in time for Christmas - become way more expensive.

Popular articles
Why Sisulu and Dlamini-Zuma aren't suitable Presidential candidates: analyst

Why Sisulu and Dlamini-Zuma aren't suitable Presidential candidates: analyst

ANC branch in the Eastern Cape, Z.R Mahabana, has launched a campaign backing Lindiwe Sisuslu as an ANC presidential candidate.

Kay Sexwale denies involvement in ANC 'War Room' saga

Kay Sexwale denies involvement in ANC 'War Room' saga

Sexwale says she advises the provincial not national ANC.

It's not the end of the road... Top tips to improve your matric

It's not the end of the road... Top tips to improve your matric

"Recognise that it’s not the end, it’s the beginning." Expert advise for school-leavers who want to improve their results.

Bylaws, times you may use fireworks

Bylaws, times you may use fireworks

City of Johannesburg has urged residents to respect by-laws and the times set for fireworks to be used.

‘I started my thriving business with R5000 (and made a profit in the 1st month)’

‘I started my thriving business with R5000 (and made a profit in the 1st month)’

After 3 years there are 3 Nic Harry stores (incl online) that sell 100 000 pairs of socks in over 20 countries around the world.

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

WIN R2000! But only if you can prove you're a whiz of the MTN Biz Quiz by answering the following three questions...

Blesserfinder: Matching you with a sugar daddy near you

Blesserfinder: Matching you with a sugar daddy near you

Is social trend Blesserfinder, where girls are allegedly matching up with rich 'benefactors' in exchange for sex, a real thing?