Diabetes...On the Menu

Diabetes is costing us

Just over 2 million Canadians have diabetes.  This number is expected to rise to 3 million by 2010 costing the Canadian healthcare system $15.6 billion a year.[1]  Studies such as the Diabetes Prevention Study in Finland and Diabetes Prevention Program in the United States showed that by eating healthier foods and being more active we can reduce our risk for diabetes by more than 50% [2],[3].  So, if we know this, why aren’t we doing something about it?


Making a difference

The simple truth is that managing diabetes can be challenging.  The fact that there is no one “diabetic diet” to follow to make choices clear and effortless, makes managing a diabetic diet even more difficult. 

However, there are a few simple rules of thumb that you can follow in translating current nutrition recommendations for diabetes[4],[5] in your facility:

·         Healthy food choices are more important than eating or avoiding certain foods.   No one food is responsible for creating diabetes or making blood glucoses go sky high. Plan within the context of Canada’s Food Guide with an eye to keeping carbohydrate content of the diet consistent.

·         Limit but don’t avoid foods that have carbohydrate or sugar.   The body needs carbohydrate to fuel its activities every day.  To help blood glucoses along, plan your menu to keep the amount of carbohydrate at meals and snack times consistent day-to-day.

Planning a Menu

A dietitian can plan a diabetes menu that includes 50-60% of the total calories as carbohydrate, 15-20% as protein and 30% as fat (10% saturated fat, 10% polyunsaturated fat and 10% monounsaturated fat).  A typical day’s meals and snacks would provide about 1,500-2,000 calories tailored to the individual’s energy needs.


How can Dr. Oetker help?

Desserts and beverages sweetened with non-nutritive sweeteners can be included as part of a healthy diet.  Non-nutritive sweeteners such as aspartame sweeten food safely without adding extra calories or raising blood sugars.


To meet the needs, and tastes, of your client population, try serving any one of the following Dr. Oetker dietetic mixes:

·         Calorie Reduced Instant Mousse

·         Calorie Reduced Instant and Cooked Puddings

·         Calorie Reduced Chiffons

·         Low Calorie Jelly Powders

·         Low Calorie Flavour Crystals


For great recipe ideas ask your Dr. Oetker representative about the Menu Magic recipe program!

[1] Canadian Diabetes Association. The prevalence and costs of diabetes. Available at:

[2] CDC. CDC statements on diabetes issues: Finnish Diabetes Prevention Study. 2005. Available at:

[3] CDC. CDC statements on diabetes issues: results of Diabetes Prevention Program. 2007. Available at:

[4] American Diabetes Association. Position statement: translation of the diabetes nutrition recommendations for health care institutions. Clinical Diabetes 2004;22(1):39-41.

[5] Adapted from the Canadian Diabetes Association. Just the basics: tips for healthy eating, diabetes prevention and management. 2008. Available at:

hawaiian cocktail.JPG_170_170