Roast Dinner

A roast dinner is something that so many of us enjoy, but this seemingly healthy meal can easily become a carb overload resulting in high blood glucose levels.

Many of us may be used to following lower fat diets where we enjoy a roast dinner with plenty of vegetables, remove skin or fat from the meat and cook with low calories cooking sprays. However, this can result in a plate containing far too many carbohydrates for us to process in one meal.

See an example of how a healthy roast dinner can amount to a high-carb meal in the image below:

Roast dinner optimised for lower blood glucose levels

With a few tweaks, using my 8 Golden Rules, a roast dinner can be a meal that can be enjoyed without causing high blood glucose levels.

list of the GD UK 8 Golden Rules for a gestational diabetes diet

Roast dinner meat

The meat on a roast dinner is going to provide the majority of protein and some natural fat to the meal which will help pair the carbs. Therefore you can enjoy plenty of meat, including the skin from chicken or crackling from pork.

Adding high meat content sausages or pigs in blankets increases the protein and fats, also making them a good addition to a GD roast dinner.

Stuffing can be tricky to tolerate. This is due to the breadcrumbs and fillers added to many stuffings. Aim to use high meat content sausage meat above 90% meat content, or as near as you can get, like this Tesco Finest one and replace white breadcrumbs with a tolerable bread such as Burgen soya & linseed.

Roast potatoes

Potatoes are a high-carb starchy vegetable meaning they raise blood glucose levels.

Some will tolerate potatoes better than other starchy carbs such as bread and rice, whereas others will struggle to tolerate potatoes and may need to severely limit the amount eaten and ensure they are heavily paired with lots of protein and extra fat.

With roast potatoes, it is best to cook them in natural fats such as duck or goose fat, lard, beef dripping, or olive oil for a vegan version and avoid adding any additional starchy carbs such as flour or semolina which are sometimes used for dusting roast potatoes to add a crisp coating.

A serving of 3 egg-sized potatoes is a good starting point to see how well they are tolerated, and if tolerance is good, this amount can be increased the next time when eating a roast dinner.

Roast Potatoes
Roast Potatoes | Gestational Diabetes UK
Check out this recipe
roast potatoes

Yorkshire Puddings

Many of us enjoy Yorkshire puddings on roast dinners, but these delicious little puddings are another serving of starchy carbs. Traditional Yorkshire puddings are made with plain flour which is high in carbs meaning they raise blood glucose levels.

The number of carbs in a Yorkshire pudding can vary depending on the size, anywhere from 10g of carbs up to 50g per pudding!

If you want to eat a normal Yorkshire pudding, you will need to bear this mind and remove some potato or something similar in order to keep the total carbs on the plate lower.

To reduce the carbs and impact on blood sugar levels, try out my amazing lower-carb Yorkshire puddings which do not contain flour, therefore making them gluten-free too! This means you can still enjoy a serving of roast potatoes AND a couple of Yorkshire puddings too!!

You will need an ingredient which you probably will not have in the cupboard (ground arrowroot, see the link in the recipe) but I PROMISE these Yorkshire’s will not disappoint!

Yorkshire Puddings
Lower carb, super light, crisp and delicious Yorkshire pudding
Check out this recipe
Arrowroot Yorkshire Pudding
Arrowroot Yorkshire Pudding
Low-carb arrowroot Yorkshire Puddings

Roast dinner vegetables

Some vegetables contain a high number of carbs and so they can easily amount to a big increase of carbs on a roast dinner.

Following my 8 golden rules of eating by bulking up your meal with plenty of non-starchy vegetables: sprouts, cabbage, asparagus, broccoli, green beans, cauliflower, or try creamed spinach and my cauliflower cheese.

Parsnips, carrots, peas and sweetcorn are all higher carb vegetables and so these are the ones to cut back on

Watch out for parsnips coated in honey or sweet drizzles, braised red cabbage cooked with sweet cider, apples and fruit juice.

Gravy

Gravy is something that catches many people out when they are new to the GD diet. The majority of gravy granules contain flours and starches as thickening agents and added sugars, which are additional starchy carbs poured all over your meal.

The typical gravy made from granules such as Bisto, Bisto Best, Knorr Gravy pot etc. all contain around 2.5g – 3.0g carbs per 50ml serving, so if you love this type of gravy on your dinner, then bear in mind that a 50ml serving (that’s just less than 3 tablespoons of gravy) is the equivalent of just under 1 teaspoon of sugar on your plate.

If you’re looking for pre-made gravies, then look out for fresh gravies and/or ones that have been with real meat juices, without added sugars. Compare the labels and look for the lowest total carbs comparing a few.

The best option for GD friendly gravy is to make gravy from scratch, then use 1/2 tsp of xanthan gum mixed with cold water to thicken. Check out my homemade gravy made from scratch, my sausages in onion gravy and vegan mushroom gravy recipes below:

Gravy
Real Gravy | Gestational Diabetes UK
Check out this recipe
GD Gravy
Sausages in Onion Gravy
Delicious sausages in a rich onion gravy, serve with the mash of your choice
Check out this recipe
bangers & mash
Vegan Gravy
Low Carb Vegan Gravy | Gestational Diabetes UK
Check out this recipe
low carb vegan gravy

Vegetarian and Vegan roast dinner

With vegetarian and vegan dishes it is important to ensure the dishes are as high in protein and natural fats as possible as this is needed to help pair the carbs. Dishes containing Quorn and tofu are good options due to the high protein.

Dishes that are heavy in lentils and chickpeas are also higher in carbs, therefore these types of dishes will require additional protein and fats to be added and other carbs on the plate reduced to compensate.

Creamy Cauliflower Cheese

This recipe is a favourite for so many GD Mums. It can be used as a side dish but works just as well as a vegetarian main

Creamy Cauliflower Cheese
This is the best cauliflower cheese you will ever taste! Thick creamy cheesy yumminess on a plate!
Check out this recipe
creamy cauliflower cheese
Celeriac Dauphinoise

Another recipe that works well as both a main or side dish for roast dinner is my celeriac dauphinoise. Celeriac is lower in carbs than potatoes yet is just as delicious and very similar in taste and texture.

Celeriac Dauphinoise
Celeriac Dauphinoise | Gestational Diabetes UK
Check out this recipe
celeriac-dauphinoise
Vegan nut roast

Tofu gives this nut roast a creaminess that makes it seem decadent. Crunchy and full of spices, everyone will be tucking in. You can make individual portions or 1 big tart as a centrepiece for the table. This sumptuous vegan main is shared by  Jamie Oliver 

Some helpful roast dinner recipes

Here are some recipes that could be helpful to use as part of a GD-friendly roast dinner:

Slow cooked beef brisket
Tender, succulent slow cooked beef brisket, smothered with real gravy which just falls apart when eaten
Check out this recipe
slow cooked beef brisket
Slow Cooked Gammon Ham
Succulent roast gammon ham with a crispy crackling
Check out this recipe
Slow Cooked Gammon Ham with Crackling
Glazed Ham
Soft succulent slow cooked ham, coated in a sweet sugar free glaze
Check out this recipe
Glazed Ham
Roasted pork belly slices
Roasted pork belly slices with garlic and thyme
Check out this recipe
roasted pork belly slices with garlic and thyme
Balsamic-Glazed Pork with Apple
Balsamic-Glazed Pork with Apple, pork loin steaks with a sweet sticky balsamic glaze and chunky slices of Granny Smith apple and caramelised red onions
Check out this recipe
Balsamic-Glazed Pork with Apple
Lemon and Herb Roast Chicken
Succulent, moist lemon-infused chicken, with crisp lemon and herb-crusted skin. Delicious eaten hot or cold
Check out this recipe
Lemon and Herb Roast Chicken
Creamy Cauliflower Cheese
This is the best cauliflower cheese you will ever taste! Thick creamy cheesy yumminess on a plate!
Check out this recipe
creamy cauliflower cheese
Celeriac Dauphinoise
Celeriac Dauphinoise | Gestational Diabetes UK
Check out this recipe
celeriac-dauphinoise
Roast Potatoes
Roast Potatoes | Gestational Diabetes UK
Check out this recipe
roast potatoes
Sweet Potato Dauphinoise
Sweet, yet deliciously cheesy and creamy this sweet potato dauphinoise makes for a perfect accompaniment to a meal
Check out this recipe
Cauliflower mash
Thick creamy cauliflower mash, a great low carb substitute for mashed potatoes
Check out this recipe
cauliflower mash
Celeriac mash
This creamy celeriac mash is a wonderful lower carb alternative to mashed potatoes
Check out this recipe
Celeriac mash
Yorkshire Puddings
Lower carb, super light, crisp and delicious Yorkshire pudding
Check out this recipe
Arrowroot Yorkshire Pudding
Toad in the hole
Light crispy golden batter surrounding your favourite high meat content or vegetarian sausages
Check out this recipe
ground arrowroot low carb toad in the hole
Gravy
Real Gravy | Gestational Diabetes UK
Check out this recipe
GD Gravy
Sausages in Onion Gravy
Delicious sausages in a rich onion gravy, serve with the mash of your choice
Check out this recipe
bangers & mash
Vegan Gravy
Low Carb Vegan Gravy | Gestational Diabetes UK
Check out this recipe
low carb vegan gravy

Don’t forget Golden Rule 7 & 8 – Drink plenty of water and exercise following eating

Golden rule No7 Drink Plenty & Stay Hydrated

Eating Out

Carvery and roast dinner meals out are popular choices. Bear in mind all the hints and tips above for selecting the best choices on your plate.

Bear in mind a large Yorkshire Pudding can contain up to 50g of carbs and watch out for hidden carbs in sauces such as cauliflower cheese and gravies!