Here’s some help:

While the rest of the world crams just about every single fatty, greasy, rich, sugar-laden, indulgent morsel of holiday food down their throats as though it were their last meal, those with diabetes or other dietary restrictions due to obesity can sometimes feel left out. There is no doubt about it, Christmas holidays are a time where we crave all of the season’s flavours and it just wouldn’t be Christmas without a turkey or ham, all of the trimmings and of course sweets!

It does not mean however that someone with a diabetic blood sugar reading can’t participate in a Christmas feast, diabetics walk among all of us every day and eat most of the same things that we all do. They just do it smarter. The basic principle to following the diabetic diet is to do it low-sugar and replace high glucose, quick-burning foods with foods that will burn slower and keep blood sugar from spiking. So, think less sugar, less white flour and if you are trying to lose weight to keep your blood sugar under control, try and lower the fat content as well. The diabetic diet is an extremely healthy diet that some people follow even if they don’t have the disease, simply because it’s so healthy. Though if someone’s diabetes is already under control, small portions of sweet foods can be substituted for carbohydrate foods in a diabetics food plan but if on the other hand they are newly diagnosed, its time to proceed with caution.

If you are newly diagnosed and are doing a big holiday meal for the first time or are serving a holiday meal to a diabetic crowd, have a look at some of the recipes and suggestions that we have compiled below.

The Bird!Believe it or not, turkey has become one of 2006’s trendiest foods and nutritionists from far and wide are touting its virtues. Turkey is low fat and highly nutritious, more so than chicken and if available in your grocery store year round, is a great alternative to the standard poultry. The best part about a turkey is that all you really need do is put it in the oven at around 325 F and let it cook depending on the size. The drippings that we end up turning into gravy are much fattier so if you want to go very lean, consider discarding the drippings and make gravy from a packet. Also, if you are trying to cut back on calories, eat only the white meat – this isn’t a matter of turkey racism – the dark meatis higher in fat and avoid the skin. Should you want to go it a little fancier, however, instead of flavouring your turkey with butter under the skin, use herbs, fresh or dry, dried mushroom or the clean taste of lemon or lime.

Herb-Roasted Christmas Turkey with Citrus-y Glaze

You will need:

1 15-pound whole turkey (thawed)3 large lemons

2 large limes

1-1/2 teaspoon salt, divided 1/2-teaspoon black pepper coarsely ground 1/4-cup dry white wine or substitute (for non-alcoholic wine, use white grape juice diluted with white wine vinegar.)1/4 cup packed brown sugar Pan gravy

1 bunch, each fresh sage, marjoram, and thyme, divided


1) Remove giblets and neck from turkey and put aside to make the gravy later. Rinse turkey with cold running water and drain well. Blot the turkey dry with paper towels.

2) Squeeze out two tablespoons of lemon juice and two tablespoons of lime juice each.

3) Cut the remaining lemons and limes in half and place in the turkey cavity. Sprinkle a pinch of salt into the cavity.

4) In a small bowl, mix the wine (or substitute), brown sugar, and citrus juices; reserve for glaze.

5) Gently loosen skin from the turkey breast without totally detaching the skin and carefully place 1 tablespoon each fresh sage and marjoram under the skin. Replace the skin. If using dried herbs follow the same process but if available, fresh are best.

6) Fold neck skin and fasten to the back with I or 2 skewers or sew shut if you don’t have skewers. Fold the wings under the back of the turkey. Return legs to tucked position.

7) Place turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a large shallow (about 2-1/2 inches deep) roasting pan. Rub turkey with salt, pepper, and 2 to 3 tablespoons of salad oil. Insert oven-safe meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh, being careful that the pointed end of the thermometer does not touch the bone.

8) Roast the turkey in a preheated 325 degree F oven about 3-3/4 hours. During the last hour of roasting time, baste with the pan drippings. During the last 30 minutes, baste with the citrus glaze. Loosely cover with lightweight foil to prevent excessive browning. Continue to roast until the thermometer registers 180 degrees F. in the thigh, or 170 degrees F. in the breast.

9) Remove turkey from the oven and allow it to rest for 15-20 minutes before carving.

10) Serve turkey to a happy audience!

Note: To substitute for the white wine in this recipe non-alcoholic wine or white grape juice diluted with white wine vinegar can both be used.

Recipe yields 22 6-ounce servings, 362 calories per serving, 50 grams of protein, 233 mg of sodium, 145 mg of cholesterol, 16 grams of fat and 1 gram of carbohydrates.

Though the stuffing is often a favourite for many, outside of the turkey gravy this can be one of the most fat-, sodium- and carbohydrate-laden aspects of the holiday meal. Bread-based and sausage bread-based stuffings are popular as are those made with dried fruit or nuts. One of the most basic things that can be done to make a stuffing diabetic friendly is to replace the white bread with whole grain bread, cutting down on bad carbohydrates. To cut down on calories, cook your stuffing outside of the bird as opposed to inside where it is likely to soak up a lot of fat. Of course, should you want to cut out all of the badness altogether, try this delightful fresh cranberry and wild rice stuffing, not only is it delightfully flavourful, as cranberries are already a big part of it, it cancels out the need for ultra sugary cranberry sauce.

Fresh Cranberry and Wild Rice Stuffing

You will need:1/2 cup wild rice, uncooked 1 cup water

1/4 cup raisins, dark or golden 5 scallions, chopped

1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, canola works best 1/2 cup celery, 1 cup fresh cranberries I tablespoon orange rind-grated 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme


Put the wild rice in a saucepan.

Add the water and raisins and cook over medium heat for 1 hour, or until the rice is tender. Drain.

Sauté the onions and celery in the oil until tender.

Add the cranberries, orange rind, thyme and rice.

Serve alongside a glorious turkey!Calories: 135 Sodium: 111 mg Cholesterol: 1 mg Fat: 2 g

Carbohydrates: 26 g Exchanges: 2 starch/bread

Try this online recipe for a more traditional stuffing recipe using whole wheat bread: 1514

The Vegetables:

Veggies are good for everybody and they should be on your plate as often as possible, particularly if you are a diabetic. If you are preparing Christmas dinner for a diabetic, high-fibre veggies are the perfect accompaniment as high-fibre foods such as broccoli, sweet potatoes and green peas contain soluble fibres that can help control increases in blood sugar levels. The same principal applies if you are going to be serving bread rolls with your turkey, go it whole grain.

Mashed potatoes are another holiday dinner table staple and traditionally they are as butter laden as possible. However, they do contain a lot of fat, which can be detrimental for someone on the arduous road to weight loss. Fortunately, as la patate is an entirely versatile starch, mashed potatoes can be made low fat.

Mashed Potatoes, Light

You will need:2 lbs pealed and quartered potatoes

1/2 cup fat-free sour cream

1/2 cup chicken broth

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp white pepper

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg (optional)


Peal and quarter potatoes. Boil until tender


Drain potatoes and transfer to a large mixing bowl


On low speed begin whipping potatoes


Slowly add sour cream and chicken broth


Add salt, pepper and nutmeg


Increase speed of mixer and whip potatoes until reaching desired consistency

Recipe yields about 8 – ? cup servings, 113 calories per serving, 17 grams of fat and 4.97 grams of protein.