Did You Know: November is Diabetes Awareness Month

Diabetes is a disease that brings with it many serious health challenges and that disproportionately affects certain groups of Canadians. For example, Canadians with lower incomes have a much higher prevalence of diabetes and greater challenges accessing supports. And health inequities are also present in the distribution of complications and comorbidity: lower-income earners experience poorer health than higher income earners, especially poor circulation in the lower limbs, glaucoma, heart disease, stroke and gum problems.

For these reasons, addressing poverty, food insecurity and other key health inequities must form a core part of any Canadian approach to the primary prevention of type 2 diabetes.

– Diabetes Canada

To address health concerns, over the last four years the Ottawa Food Bank has further shifted its focus towards offering healthier food choices including fresh vegetables and fruit, fish, legumes and whole grains. We continue to take action to improve healthier choice options.

With the above knowledge from Diabetes Canada, and the fact that we know the food choices available to a person play a large part in the prevention and control of type 2 diabetes, we look to the foods we help to provide to the community and how they can help with proper health.

One example of a natural super food that has benefits directly related to type 2 diabetes is Oats.

Health Benefits of Oats

Oats seem so simple, but many aren’t fully aware of their benefits or sure what to do with them once they’ve got them.

Did you know that oats:
  • Help to improve blood sugar control
  • Help with heart health
  • Can improve cholesterol levels
  • Fill you up so can feel full for longer
  • Keep your digestive system healthy and moving well
  • Are an anti-inflammatory
  • Are a good source of healthy fibre, vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, antioxidants, and protein

Cooking With Oats

Overnight Apple Pie Oatmeal
Energy Balls
Oatmeal Muffins
Ontario Apple Oatmeal Crisp
Overnight Apple Pie Oatmeal

Rushed in the morning, not hungry and need a breakfast for on the go? This overnight package will be ready and waiting for your morning. Loved by kids and adults alike it will set you up for the day ahead!


  • ½ cup yogurt
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
  • ½ cup oats
  • 1 apple (cored, finely diced or grated, peeled or not- your choice)


  1. In a small jar, mix oats with milk and yogurt.
  2. Stir in apple and cinnamon if using or layer these if preferred.
  3. Put lid on jar and place in fridge overnight
  4. Ready for breakfast in the morning.
  5. Enjoy!
  6. Next time try a different fruit such as pear, banana or frozen blueberries, anything you have on hand. Experiment!

Recipe inspired by

Energy Balls

These are great little power boosters. Filled with protein and energy for ‘on the go’ or before a sports game!


  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons of raisins or cranberries or chopped dates
  • 2 tablespoons honey (optional)


  1. In a bowl mix the oats, peanut butter, chocolate chips/raisins/honey until well combined
  2. Take a spoon sized amount, roll into a ball and place on a plate.
  3. Place the balls in the refrigerator to make them less sticky
  4. Will be good for up to 2 weeks or can be frozen to last longer
  5. Enjoy!

Oatmeal Muffins

These muffins are a great after school snack or a nut free snack for school lunches. High in fibre, they are heart healthy and nutritious.


  • 3 cups oats
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup apple sauce
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup diced apple
  • ¼ cup raisins


  1. In a large bowl combine oats, cinnamon, baking powder and salt
  2. In another bowl whisk together milk, eggs, apple sauce and oil
  3. Pour over oat mixture and stir to combine.
  4. Stir in apple and raisins
  5. Divide among 12 lightly greased muffin tins
  6. Bake in preheated oven at 350°(180°C) for about 30 minutes
  7. Serve warm or cold – enjoy!

Recipe inspired by UnlockFood.caTM

Ontario Apple Oatmeal Crisp

A delicious after meal treat.


  • 1 1/3 cup oats
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup apple juice
  • 1/3 cup butter or margarine melted
  • 5-6 apples, cored and thinly sliced (if peeling, eat the peel, it has lots of goodness in it)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (optional)


  1. In a bowl, combine oats, 1/3 cup sugar, ½ teaspoon cinnamon and the salt
  2. Stir in half the apple juice and all the butter
  3. Grease an 8 inch square baking dish
  4. Combine apples, lemon juice, remaining apple juice, sugar and cinnamon
  5. Sprinkle oatmeal mixture evenly over the apples
  6. Bake in oven at 375°F (190°C) until apples are soft and topping is golden brown (about 30-40 minutes)
  7. Enjoy warm or cold with yogurt, or a little cream!

Recipe inspired by UnlockFood.caTM


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