Cheating on your diet this holiday season? You're not alone!

Udi's Overnight Cinnamon Raisin French Toast Bake (CNW Group/Udi's Healthy Foods LLC)

Udi's Caramelized Apple Ricotta Mexican Crepe (CNW Group/Udi's Healthy Foods LLC)

Udi's Apple, Cranberry and Brie Crostini (CNW Group/Udi's Healthy Foods LLC)

TORONTO, Dec. 5, 2013 /CNW/ - From decadent dinners to sinful snacks, the holiday season offers a bounty of culinary temptations. According to an Udi's Healthy Foods poll, 39 per cent of Canadians surveyed will abandon their diets over the holidays.

If you're one of many Canadians following a special diet due to a food sensitivity or intolerance, resisting temptation and avoiding particular ingredients can be more important than ever during the holidays. Canadians surveyed said their top five coping strategies for eating at holiday events range from abandoning their diet altogether, to sending regrets for events that can't accommodate their diet.

Here's how Canadians surveyed plan to handle dietary challenges this holiday season:

TOP 5 DIET STRATEGIES FOR THE HOLIDAY SEASON

  1. Abandon their diet completely - 39 per cent
  2. Eat as little as possible at holiday events - 36 per cent
  3. Eat before going to holiday events - 8 per cent
  4. Bring their own food - 5 per cent
  5. Avoid holiday events if their dietary needs won't be met - 3 per cent

"The holidays are a time for celebration, so some Canadians make the choice to ignore ingredients that can impact their health," says Stephanie Clairmont, a culinary dietitian and nutrition coach whose clinic serves clients in the Greater Toronto Area. "But for many Canadians with gluten or dairy sensitivities, or who are committed to reducing a specific food item, compromising their diet can be literally gut-wrenching."

The most common hidden sources of gluten in holiday dishes and treats can include favourites like gravy, stuffing, pie and eggnog - and even candy canes.

TOP 10 HIDDEN SOURCES OF HOLIDAY GLUTEN

  1. Packaged gravy mix
  2. Packaged stuffing
  3. Cranberry sauce
  4. Pie filling
  5. Pre-mixed spices and herbs
  6. Broth / soup stock
  7. Deli meat
  8. Candied nuts
  9. Eggnog and cocktail mixes
  10. Candy and candy canes

To make sure all the guests you invite to a party can fully enjoy holiday time with family and friends, Clairmont advises two easy solutions.

"If you're entertaining, check out the gluten and dairy-free sections of your grocery store, since there are an increasing range of delicious options to replace common ingredients," she says. "Or ask guests with sensitivities to provide you with a recipe, so you can create a special dish for them to enjoy. It's a way to show a guest they are important to you, and a great opportunity to add a new dish to your holiday cooking repertoire."

When it comes to baked goods, December can be a particularly tempting time. Gluten-free or reduced Canadians surveyed are most likely to 'cheat' during the holiday season (65 per cent), followed by Thanksgiving (34 per cent) and New Year's (16 per cent).

The poll also found that more women with gluten restrictions (82 per cent) admit to cheating on their gluten-free diet than men with gluten restrictions (69 per cent), and the most common cheating items include bread and baked goods - both mainstays of holiday festivities.

RECIPES

Udi's Overnight Cinnamon Raisin French Toast Bake
Udi's Caramelized Apple Ricotta Mexican Crepe
Udi's Apple, Cranberry and Brie Crostini

About Udi's
Udi's Healthy Foods LLC (Udi's) is a leader in the fast growing market for gluten-free foods in North America. Udi's markets a diversified and growing range of gluten-free products under the well-recognized Udi's Gluten Free Foods brand in the retail market, and since mid-2011, food service channels. Udi's Gluten Free Foods is a leading brand in gluten-free bread and bakery products. In addition, Udi's markets other gluten-free products in the frozen pizza and granola categories. www.UdisGlutenFree.com

Survey Methodology
From July 19th to July 22nd 2013 an online survey was conducted among 2,530 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 1.95%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to education, age, gender and region (and in Quebec language) Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

SOURCE Udi's Healthy Foods LLC

Image with caption: "Udi's Overnight Cinnamon Raisin French Toast Bake (CNW Group/Udi's Healthy Foods LLC)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20131205_C7899_PHOTO_EN_34489.jpg

Image with caption: "Udi's Caramelized Apple Ricotta Mexican Crepe (CNW Group/Udi's Healthy Foods LLC)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20131205_C7899_PHOTO_EN_34488.jpg

Image with caption: "Udi's Apple, Cranberry and Brie Crostini (CNW Group/Udi's Healthy Foods LLC)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20131205_C7899_PHOTO_EN_34487.jpg

PDF available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2013/12/05/20131205_C7899_DOC_EN_34490.pdf

PDF available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2013/12/05/20131205_C7899_DOC_EN_34491.pdf

PDF available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2013/12/05/20131205_C7899_DOC_EN_34492.pdf



For further information:

Media contact
Katherine Heydon
FleishmanHillard Toronto
Katherine.Heydon@fleishman.ca
416-645-3665