Bringing Canadians back to the Thanksgiving Table


VANCOUVER, Oct. 6, 2013 /CNW/ - About 8 million Canadians (22 per cent) will be eating Thanksgiving dinner with a twist, a dietary one. Thankfully the majority of Canadians (74 per cent) will be accommodating the dietary needs of their friends and family this Thanksgiving, according to a new survey commissioned by Udi's Healthy Foods. These dietary needs include vegetarian (eight per cent), gluten-free, raw food and low carbohydrate (five per cent each).

"Accommodating friends and family members who are following a vegetarian or low carbohydrate diet is fairly straight-forward," says Diana Steele, RD, a registered dietitian and owner of Eating for Energy Nutrition Consulting in Vancouver. "It's more challenging when it involves preparing gluten-free meals. For those who are not gluten-free themselves, identifying foods that are safe for guests with a gluten intolerance can be difficult. Serving a gluten-free substitute is the simplest way to accommodate gluten-free guests."

When asked to name three essential items for Thanksgiving dinner, turkey is tops. Nearly three-quarters of respondents (74 per cent) say turkey is the most essential dish, followed by mashed potatoes (46 per cent) and stuffing (40 per cent).

Fifteen per cent of Canadians report being concerned or confused about how to address special requirements at Thanksgiving. Only 6 per cent of Canadians report being annoyed at making special accommodations or wish the person would not attend.

For the willing, concerned and confused, Udi's has the following classic, failsafe gluten-free recipe options for them to try:

Here are a few fun Canadian gluten-free Thanksgiving stats - according to Udi's recent poll:

  • Approx. 4.3 million Canadians (12.3 per cent) follow a gluten-free or gluten-reduced diet.
  • Of those who have made the switch, 21 per cent point to a gluten intolerance and 15 per cent have done so to support a family member.
  • 84 per cent of Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving.
  • British Columbians (10 per cent) are more likely than the national average (5 per cent) to incorporate a gluten-free dish into their Thanksgiving meal, followed by Albertans (6 per cent) and Ontarians (5 per cent).
  • Twenty-four percent of Canadians who are gluten-free or reduced report cheating with bread.

Common Hidden Sources of Gluten at Thanksgiving- Check Labels Carefully:

  • Gravy
  • Stuffing
  • Salad Dressing
  • Sauces, Seasoning and Marinades (Soy Sauce, Mustard, blended seasoning packs, etc.)
  • Pumpkin Pie Crust
  • Ice Cream
  • Instant tea/coffee

About Diana Steele, B.Sc. (Diet.), RD
Diana Steele is a registered dietitian and owner of Eating for Energy, a nutrition consulting company.   Committed to teaching nutrition in a realistic and do-able way, Diana has provided personalized nutrition counselling to over 2000 individuals, couples and families. She is also a professional speaker and author. As a mother, business woman and wife, Diana creates balance in her life and still manages to 'walk the talk' by eating well, and is committed to being active.

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.

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.

Image with caption: "Udi's gluten-Free Cranberry Walnut Stuffing (CNW Group/Udi's Healthy Foods LLC)". Image available at:

Image with caption: "Udi's gluten-Free Snickerdoodle Pumpkin Pie (CNW Group/Udi's Healthy Foods LLC)". Image available at:

PDF available at:

PDF available at:

SOURCE: Udi's Healthy Foods LLC

For further information:

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Jeremy Twigg
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604-306-4036 mobile

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