Healthy holidays: Diabetes-friendly recipes

December 14, 2010 (CHICAGO)

The holiday season is a time for celebration, togetherness and most of all, eating. But since heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. and type 2 diabetes affects at least 24 million American adults and children, a healthier take on holiday dishes can benefit the whole family, says registered dietician Cheryl Forberg.

The consulting dietitian to TV's "The Biggest Loser," New York Times best-selling author and James Beard award-winning chef, Cheryl is helping Americans make smart dietary choices so they can have their cake (or pumpkin flan) and eat it, too.

Heart disease and diabetes are largely preventable with a heart-smart diet, exercise and other healthy habits," Cheryl says. "It's important to watch total calories and portions and eat predominantly unsaturated fats along with vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean meats."

To make it easier to stick to this advice during the indulgent holiday season, Forberg has developed diabetes-friendly, heart-healthy holiday recipes for a meal makeover that's both nutritious and delicious.

"A diabetes-friendly diet is really how everyone should eat," Cheryl adds. "These recipes prove that great-tasting meals can also be healthy. Now that's something to celebrate with family and friends during the holiday season."

Cheryl's healthy holiday menu includes:

RECIPE: Turkey Roulade
This elegant turkey entree with stuffing offers a unique presentation of America's traditional holiday combination. The canola oil allows for a bronze finish. While the roulade looks impressively complicated, it can be made with ease (and a little arm strength).

RECIPE: Porcini Mushroom Gravy
While it sounds luxuriously rich, this gravy is light on calories and fat so you can enjoy all the flavor with none of the guilt. The canola oil allows the natural goodness of the ingredients to shine while binding them together.

RECIPE: Cornbread and Dried Fruit Dressing
This colorful dressing has layers of flavor that allow for a delicious side dish on its own or blends together well in the Turkey Roulade entrée. A dressing with unusual ingredients, it is also very low in saturated fat and sodium.

RECIPE: Holiday Rapini Saute
Combining red and green vegetables is both festive and healthful. Garlic adds punch and almonds add crunch. While a wonderful complement to a holiday meal, this side dish is perfect anytime to dress up an entrée.

RECIPE: Warm Apple and Cranberry Sauce
Nothing beats cooking with apples and cranberries for the holidays and this homemade sauce combines the two fruits for a show-stopping side dish. This is comfort food at its best with a gourmet twist.

RECIPE: Pumpkin Flan
Nothing signals the holiday season more than pumpkin and this flan allows you to showcase it in a new, delicious way. Do away with pie crust and concentrate on yummy pumpkin flavor in this light, not-too-sweet flan.

As a common ingredient throughout these recipes, canola oil delivers on heart health. It has the least saturated fat and most omega-3 fat of all cooking oils and is free of trans fat and cholesterol, Cheryl points out. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized a qualified health claim for canola oil on its potential to reduce the risk of heart disease, she adds.

This recipe collection is also available at

Just in time for the holidays, The American Diabetes Association (ADA) and CanolaInfo,, have released a cookbook, The Heart-Smart Diabetes Kitchen: Fresh, Fast, and Flavorful Recipes Made with Canola Oil. The cookbook filled with 151 delicious recipes from veteran cookbook author and diabetes recipe developer Nancy S. Hughes. This colorful paperback is available through the ADA, at and in bookstores for $18.95. To order, call 1-800-232-6733 or go to In addition, it is sold on and in Borders, Barnes and Noble and other bookstores nationwide. All proceeds from the purchase of this book go to further ADA's mission to improve the lives of people with diabetes.

Cheryl will be giving copies of this cookbook away during her CanolaInfo Holiday Twitter Party on Wednesday, December 15 from 7:30-9 pm. Follow @CanolaInfo and use #CanolaInfo to interact with Cheryl directly online and share and learn nutrition and culinary tips for the holiday season. The first 50 people to join the Twitter party will receive a copy of The Heart-Smart Diabetes Kitchen: Fresh, Fast, and Flavorful Recipes Made with Canola oil,

Wednesday from 7:30-9:30 pm
Follow @CanolaInfo
#CanolaInfo to interact with Cheryl Forsberg


Cheryl Forberg, R.D., is a weight loss and anti-aging nutrition expert and consulting dietitian to NBC-TV's "The Biggest Loser." While based in Napa, California, she travels throughout the United States lecturing and giving cooking classes and demonstrations. She is one of the few professional chefs in the country who is also a registered dietitian.

Forberg's expertise in nutrition and healthy recipe development is showcased in 11 books, including "The Biggest Loser: 6 Weeks to a Healthier You" (2010), "The New Mayo Clinic Cookbook" (2010), "Positively Ageless: A 28-Day Plan for a Younger, Slimmer, Sexier You" (2008), "Healthy Heart Cookbook" (2004), "Stop the Clock! Cooking: Defy Aging--Eat the Foods You Love" (2003) and several other books for "The Biggest Loser" and Mayo Clinic. She is a New York Times best-selling author and James Beard award-winning recipe developer.

Co-writer of the eating plan for "The Biggest Loser," Forberg has a passion for healthy cooking. She was previously the private chef for Lucasfilm, Ltd. in Marin County, Calif., and a research dietitian at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Forberg earned a degree in Nutrition and Clinical Dietetics and her R.D. credential from the University of California at Berkeley. She received her culinary education at the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, working at top French restaurants from Champagne to Strasbourg and at Postrio, Wolfgang Puck's first venture in San Francisco.

Forberg is a food and nutrition spokesperson as well as a journalist. Her articles and recipes have appeared in major culinary and health publications, including Sunset, Health and Prevention magazines and The Washington Post. She is on the advisory board for Prevention.

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