Holiday Season Carb Counting

It’s the holiday season, and for most people that means indulging in seasonal treats and meals. It’s no different for people living with type 1 diabetes (T1D). One of the major stresses of managing T1D, particularly for people who are newly diagnosed can be meal planning, and both how it will affect blood glucose levels and how much insulin you might need.

But with a little planning and preparation, you can and should enjoy time with family and friends – including holiday dinners – with confidence.

Thank you to Beyond Type 1 for these traditional holiday meal carb counts to help guide your decisions this holiday season.

* Please note that your portion sizes may vary, and your carbohydrate counts will need to be adjusted accordingly.


Lasagna1 Cup30g
Brisket1 oz.0g


Mashed Potatoes1 cup30g
Roasted Potatoes1 cup28g
Sweet Potato1 Med.28g
Potato Latke1 Med.10g
Candied Yams1/2 cup45g
Sweet Potato Casserole with Mini Marshmallows1/3 cup30g
Green Beans1/2 cup4g
Green Bean Casserole1 1/2 cup.9g
Corn1/2 cup9g
Sauerkraut1 cup6g
Glazed Carrots1/2 cup25g
Brussel Sprouts1/2 cup4g
Cheese1 oz.0-1g
Stuffing1/2 cup20g
Cranberry Sauce1/4 cup25g
Gravy1/2 cup5g
Dinner Roll120g
Cornbread1 piece28g
Challah2 oz.30g
Matzo Ball110g
Matzo Ball Soup1 cup15g
Noodle Kugel2″ Square23g
Apple Sauce – Sweetened4 oz.23g
Apple Sauce – Unsweetened4 oz.12g
Sour Cream2 tbsp..5g
Olive Oil1 tbsp.0g


Sweet Potato Pie1/8th Slice35g
Minced Meat Pie1/8th Slice55g
Pumpkin Pie1/8th Slice35g
Apple Pie1/8th Slice45g
Pecan Pie1/8th Slice60g
Meringue Pie1/8th Slice50g
Fruitcake1/8th Slice26g
Christmas (Plum) Pudding2 oz.30g
Sticky Toffee Pudding2 oz.25g
Bread Pudding2 oz.20g
Trifle1 2 oz.15g
Ginger Snap Cookies4 (1 oz.)23g
Shortbread Cookies4 (1 oz.)21g
Chocolate Chip Cookies220g
Peanut Butter Cookies220g
Sugar Cookies222g
Meringue Cookies615g
Rugelach1 oz./pc.17g
Sufganiyot (Jelly Donut)125g
Cheese Blintz112g
Chocolate Gelt1 oz.17g
Cheesecake1 pc. (1/6)20g
Candy Cane115g
Vanilla Ice Cream1/2 cup16g
Chocolate Ice Cream1/2 cup18g
Brand Butter2 tbsp.15g
Whipped Cream
2 tbsp.2g


Eggnog1/2 cup30g
Hot Cocoa with Water1 cup15-20g
Hot Cocoa with Milk1 cup30g
Spiced Apple Cider (Non-Alcoholic)1 cup30g
Hard Apple Cider12 oz.15-30g
Wine (White or Red)5 oz.4g
Champagne5 oz.3g
Regular Beer5 oz.12g
Light Beer12 oz.6g
Spirits1 oz.0g

Can we eliminate carb counting for people with type 1 diabetes?

Carb Counting

Research is exploring whether an insulin + pramlintide closed-loop system eliminate carbohydrate counting for people living with T1D.

JDRF is the leading charitable funder of research into type 1 diabetes in Canada, with a focus on research that will help improve lives today, and lead to disease prevention and cures.


JDRF Canada is pleased to continue supporting research led by McGill scientist Dr. Ahmad Haidar. Haidar and his team are looking at ways to improve the quality of life of people living with type 1 diabetes (T1D) using a novel insulin-plus-pramlintide artificial pancreas that may alleviate the need for carbohydrate counting.

Carbohydrate counting is the process of counting the number of carbohydrates in a meal – something that people living with T1D need to do every time they eat in order to be able to calculate the appropriate and safe amount of insulin needed for blood sugar control. Carbohydrate counting can however become burdensome as it requires an extensive knowledge base and detailed calculations, made multiple times a day. Haidar and his team aim to develop an automated insulin delivery system that can minimize this burden for people living with the disease.

A closed-loop system, or “artificial pancreas”, automates the delivery of insulin based on the blood sugar levels obtained from continuous glucose monitors. Evidence shows that individuals using a closed-loop system are often less burdened by the decision-making process of daily insulin management and can benefit from improved glucose control, fewer hypoglycemic episodes, and a better quality of life.

Haidar and his research team plan to study a closed-loop system that delivers both insulin and pramlintide. Pramlintide is a medication that resembles a natural hormone produced by healthy beta cells called amylin, which slows the movement of food through the stomach. This hormone can blunt the extent to which sugars are broken down, allowing for a meal to less severely elevate blood sugar levels. The team’s previous work showed that such a system was safe and effective in people with T1D. Now, they want to explore whether a combination of a fast-acting insulin and pramlintide can eliminate the need for carbohydrate counting without compromising glycemic control.

Haidar will examine how this closed-loop system will affect target blood sugar levels in adults and adolescents, as well as these individuals’ quality of life, in a randomized controlled trial. The study will be two weeks long, will take place outside of a clinic setting, and will compare a system that delivers both insulin and pramlintide versus a system that delivers insulin on its own. The study will also compare traditional carbohydrate counting techniques against a simple meal announcement notification.

JDRF is pleased to support two more years of Haidar’s ongoing work with a $760,000 USD grant in this important area of diabetes management, and thanks its donors for their continued support in T1D research.