Calculating for the Holidays

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The holiday season can sometimes feel like one long eating marathon – but there are tools out there to help you cope. The following resources can help you keep track of the calories, carbohydrates, fat, and other nutrients in all sorts of food and drink; find holiday recipes for which nutrition information has already been calculated; and even come up with an exercise plan to burn off some of those extra holiday calories.

Keeping count of calories and more

Web sites
Type in the name of a food to bring up a chart with information including serving size, carbohydrate and fat grams, and calories.
An alphabetized food index, the Carbohydrate Counts of Common Foods page of Diabetes. lists only the carbohydrate totals for standard serving sizes of common (and some uncommon) foods.

Paperback books
by Lea Ann Holzmeister, RD, CDE
Lists calories, carbohydrates, fat, saturated fat, sodium, and exchanges for thousands of foods. Available from various booksellers or from the American Diabetes Association at or (800) 232-6455.

by Corinne T. Netzer
Over 900 pages of generic and brand-name foods; calories, protein, carbohydrate, fat, cholesterol, sodium, and fiber are all listed. Available from various booksellers.

Holiday recipes

Web sites
The Diabetes Cyber Kitchen organizes recipes by theme, including Thanksgiving desserts and holiday gift ideas. Recipes are analyzed for calories, protein, carbohydrate, fat, and fiber.
For holiday dishes featured in Diabetes Self-Management magazine, click on “Recipes” then “Meal Types” then “Holiday Treats.” Each recipe lists exchanges, carbohydrate choices, calories, carbohydrate, protein, fat, saturated fat, sodium, and fiber.
The Diabetic Gourmet Web site’s many recipes have been analyzed for calories, protein, sodium, cholesterol, fat, carbohydrate content, and exchanges. Enter terms like “stuffing” or “Christmas” into its search function to find holiday dishes.

The ADA publishes a wide variety of cookbooks featuring nutritional analysis, including “Mr. Food’s Every Day’s a Holiday Diabetic Cookbook.” For other titles and descriptions, and to purchase, visit or call (800) 232-6455.

Diabetes Self-Management publishes a selection of healthy-eating recipe books which feature holiday ideas. For titles and descriptions, and to purchase, visit or call (800) 664-9269.

Burning it off

The following Web sites calculate approximately how many calories you will burn doing various activities for varying amounts of time. (for walking only) (calculates how many calories you burn in an entire day)

Originally Published December 20, 2010

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