If you know one or more of your guests have diabetes, try gearing the food you serve towards a low-GI (glycemic index) diet. The Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) backs the use of a low-GI diet to help people manage their diabetes through the food they consume.
What is the GI Diet?
Under the GI diet every food is assigned a number -- the lower the number, the better that food is for somebody with diabetes.
Foods with a lower GI value help keep blood glucose values steady, while foods with a high-GI value will cause blood sugar levels to spike. For individuals with diabetes, it's important to keep blood sugar levels as steady as possible.
Those following a low-GI diet don't have to cut out high-GI food entirely. When preparing a meal you can combine high- and low-GI value foods, and the overall GI value of the meal will be medium. As a result, you will be able meet the needs of all your guests.
Foods to avoid
Some high-GI foods to avoid serving are: dates, watermelon, white bread, chips, creamy dips, white potatoes and waffles.
Low-GI foods are easy to incorporate into your party menu. Focus on serving fresh fruit and vegetable platters, sweet potatoes, beans, brown rice, and meat and seafood without sauces and breading. For dessert you can serve dark chocolate, low-fat ice cream or frozen yogurt.
Snacks for people with diabetes chosen by Canadian Living's nutrition expert Cara Rosenbloom
This kid-friendly nibble has everyone's favourite nacho toppings nestled in cute tortilla cups. The freshest tortillas are more pliant and easier to fit in the cups. Serve with salsa for spooning on top.
Serve this stylish make-ahead dip with cracker bread, Belgium endive leaves, radishes and blanched cauliflower and broccoli florets. To blanch, immerse the vegetables in boiling salted water for 30 seconds; drain and chill in cold water. Immediately drain well.
Raw oysters served on the bottom shell are called "on the half shell." The subtle flavours of the meat and juice are best appreciated raw (just slurp back the oyster and juices right from the shell), though minimal additions (a dab of horseradish, squeeze of lemon or dash of hot sauce) are also delicious.
Mild, buttery lima beans, available frozen in supermarkets, lend a lovely pale green colour and rich texture to this dip, which is equally good made with chickpeas or white beans. Zahtar is a Middle Eastern spice mixture that's available at Middle Eastern grocers, but is a cinch to make yourself. Increase the jalapeno peppers to two, if you enjoy the heat.
Drizzle this golden smooth dip with a little extra-virgin olive oil if desired. Serve with celery and carrot sticks and toasted pita wedges. Tahini, a paste made of sesame seeds, is available in most supermarkets.
Instant and ground coffee pack a double punch in these airy bite-size delights. To make these kosher for Passover, omit the cream of tartar.
Ginger syrup and toasted coconut accent this refreshing fruit combo. Feel free to vary the fruit to suit your brunch crowd.
The prefect companion for your afternoon cup of tea!