How to Snack and Prevent Diabetes

Diabetes prevention is something we all should be working for, and your diet plays a huge factor in this. One often overlooked part of the conversation surrounding a healthy diet is snacking. While the obvious answer may seem to be to give up snacks altogether, depriving yourself of your favorite treats may not be the best protection from diabetes either. Below are a few ways to develop snacking habits that can reduce your chances of developing diabetes, as well as a few different foods to implement into your diet.

Avoid Glucose Spikes

Diabetes is characterized by having blood sugar levels that are unnaturally high due to insulin resistance. One of the ways that this insulin resistance can develop is by having spikes in your blood sugar that make it difficult for your body’s insulin to break down all of the glucose in the body. You can avoid these spikes by limiting consuming foods that quickly raise your blood sugar, such as sweets, starches, and processed foods.

Choose Your Snacks Wisely

Instead of choosing foods that are unhealthy in nature, try to focus on curbing your hunger with healthier options. Skip the donuts, cookies, and cakes and reach for fruits, vegetables, and nuts instead. Many adults struggle to meet their daily value of fruits and vegetables, so incorporating these foods into snack time can help you reach your nutritional needs.

There are certain foods that can help prevent diabetes more than others. Foods like apples and berries can satisfy your sweet tooth while carrots and pumpkin seeds can give you that crunch that you crave from chips and other salty snacks. Incorporating these foods into your snacking routine can help cut your risk of developing diabetes by minimizing spikes in blood sugar and preventing insulin resistance.

Space Out Your Snacks

While it might seem counterintuitive, snacking does have the potential to prevent blood sugar spikes from happening if eaten at the right times. When there is a large gap of time between meals, your blood sugar can dip, sometimes to dangerously low levels. This can result in extreme highs and lows that can make your body become less sensitive to its own insulin, ultimately leading to diabetes. Snacking can help prevent these highs and lows by keeping your blood sugar levels steady throughout the day because of the more consistent intake of nutrients. If you find yourself getting hungry throughout the day or if you know there is going to be a large gap between your meals, try keeping a snack nearby to help hold you over and stabilize your blood sugar.

Be mindful of your snacking

Raspberries and BlackberriesWhile it may appear that snacking is purely a physical activity, the way that you snack is heavily tied to your emotional being as well. Unpleasant emotions like stress, anxiety, and depression can lead to overeating and cravings for those “comfort foods” that tend to be unhealthy in nature. And when it comes to emotional eating, you often won’t stop munching until you feel better, or until your body can’t physically take another bite. These snacking sessions can contribute to blood sugar spikes and insulin resistance because of the sheer volume and contents of the foods involved.

A change in mindset can help prevent you from snacking mindlessly, as well as keep you from eating foods that are less healthy in nature. A great way to get a handle on your emotional eating is to first assess why it is that you’re tempted to start eating. Ask yourself— Are you really hungry? Are you upset? Are you avoiding something? If you realize that your cravings are originating from something other than hunger, try resisting the urge to snack for about 15 minutes to see if the feeling subsides. The more self-aware you become of your snacking habits, the better you’ll be able to fend off the development of diabetes.

 

Just 1 in 10 adults meet the federal fruit or vegetable recommendations, according to a study published today in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). This report highlights that very few Americans eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables every day, putting them at risk for chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease.

NutriFusion develops all‐natural fruit and/or vegetable powders that are nutrient dense for use in foods, beverages, supplements and pet foods.

NutriFusion can help! Visit us at www.nutrifusion.com.

 

Mitigating Stress: How Food Can Reduce Your Stress

Everyday stress can easily pile up, but today’s circumstances have made it much easier to feel more overwhelmed than ever. In fact, studies reveal that 88% of Americans are stressed out due to the uncertainty clouding over us.

Even though stress is a normal part of life, we owe it to ourselves to learn how to combat it — and one of the best ways to do this is to eat right. Though many people know that stress causes you to eat more and in unhealthy ways, it’s possible to reverse this and use healthy food to reduce stress. To help you eat right amidst these stressful times, here’s what you need to know:

The Best Nutrients to Beat Stress

Food serves as a source of nourishment. And leaning on this fact will help you identify which ones can help increase and decrease your stress levels. Case in point: Our post on how to ‘Boost Your Mental Health With Fruits And Vegetables’ notes that probiotics (otherwise known as ‘good bacteria’) positively influences your mental outlook, while soothing your anxiety.

Vitamin C is also a great stress-reliever, as it helps reduce levels of cortisol (a major stress hormone) and lower your blood pressure. Another helpful nutrient is omega-3 fatty acids because they can help relieve stress symptoms. Plus, Dr. David Mischoulon writes on Harvard Health that its anti-inflammatory properties can even help alleviate depression. Overall, knowing the right nutrients will help you build a strong foundation for healthy eating against stress.

That said, here are some food sources that you should consider incorporating into your diet to help fight stress:

Probiotics
• Lentils
• Banana
• Oats
• Asparagus

Vitamin C
• Sweet potatoes
• Broccoli
• Guava
• Citrus fruits

Omega-3 Fatty Acids
• Salmon
• Walnuts
• Flax-seed
• Soybeans

Essential Eating Habits to Beat Stress

A successful diet to combat stress isn’t complete without proper eating habits. Practicing these everyday will help you stay on the right track with your diet and stress.

Practice Mindful Eating

Mindful eating calls you to be in the moment when you eat — from paying attention to your food, to acknowledging your physical and emotional sensations. It’s all the more important to practice mindful eating today, when most people are working from home and the lines between work and your personal life can be easily blurred. Resilience coach L. Barbour told Marcus that it’s important to focus exclusively on eating during lunchtime, instead of looking at your phone or trying to multitask. This way, you can truly enjoy your food and be more careful about the dietary choices you make. After all, it’s very easy to subsist on coffee and beef jerky if you’re stuck to a screen all the time! Remember that what and how you eat can affect your mood and cognitive performance, so be sure to give yourself time to thoroughly enjoy your meals.

Don’t Skip Meals

As we’ve mentioned, it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life — especially during this point in time. And trying to keep up with everything makes it much easier for you to skip meals. Unfortunately, ignoring your meals can result in even higher levels of stress. Psychiatrist Steven Gans explains on Very Well Mind that your blood sugar levels start to drop when you miss out on a meal. This, in turn, causes you to become irritable and tense, while also heightening your anxiety. To this end, it’s essential to follow a healthy eating schedule. If you’re not feeling too hungry during a certain mealtime, you can opt for a filling snack like a protein bar or a green smoothie.

Cook for Yourself

While ordering in from food delivery services may seem like a convenient option, it’s better to use the time you have on your hands by cooking your own meals. Cooking can do wonders for your stress levels as it helps you get in tune with your senses — from therapeutic techniques like stirring and rhythmic chopping, to smelling the aroma of your ingredients. Not to mention, there’s a special sense of accomplishment after preparing your own meals. If you’re pressed for time on weekdays, a good practice is to meal prep during the weekends.

 

Words by Mona Presson
Written exclusively for nutrifusion.com

Sugar – It’s a Sticky Situation

Sugar.

Parents don’t want to give it to their kids. Adults don’t’ like it because it turns, quite quickly, to fat. But clever packaging and the misconceptions natural sugar and no added sugar tend to only raise more questions. Is all sugar created the same? Can you learn to navigate the sticky sweet sugar labels? What’s the difference in added, natural, modified, and fake?

According to a recently published article on cnet.com, “The US Office of Disease Prevention and the World Health Organization say you should get no more than 10% of your daily calories from added sugar each day — and even better is limiting added sugar to 25 grams (or six teaspoons) in total.” So if the first step includes knowing we should limit our sugar intake, the next step moves us into the tricky task of decoding, you guessed it, sugar itself.

Added sugar.

Just like it sounds, added sugar is, as you’d assume, added…by either you or a manufacturer. The various added sugars can be derived from several sources including coconut sugar, can sugar, maple syrup, honey, or agave nectar.

Natural sugar.

Certain foods like, for example, fruit, is a whole food and the sugar included is in its natural form. An apple doesn’t have added sugar and, again, as you’d assume, offers the added benefits of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. While a fruit’s natural sugar, fructose, does affect your body and can raise both blood sugar and insulin hormones, it’s bound to fiber…something that aids your body in slowing down how fast you’re absorbing the naturally occurring sugar.

“Natural sugar, like the sugar found in whole food like fruits, is definitely part of a healthy diet for most people,” explains Jayne Williams, a certified nutritional consultant and clinical nutrition graduate student. “While fruits do contain low levels of fructose, which is a sugar, the overall nutritional value of a piece of whole fruit with all the vitamins, fiber and nutrients is well worth including in a healthy diet.”

Fructose should not, however, be confused with the often-added ingredient high fructose corn syrup. This chemical-made sugar is often a used as a sweetener in many processed foods.

Modified natural sugar.

The honey you add to your oatmeal and the agave you put in your smoothies are natural, but they’re sugar all the same. “Modified natural sugars are those that start from a natural source but need slight ‘modern intervention’ to make it to your table. Coconut sugar, raw honey and organic pure maple syrup all have some additional minerals and vitamins,” says Williams, “but are still sugar and can affect your blood sugar levels more than natural-occurring sugars in whole foods.”

Processed sugar.

Often called fake sugar, processed sugar has been stripped of any nutrition or health benefits. The modification process renders fake sugar difficult for your liver to process as it contains high levels of fructose. White sugar, cane sugar, and agave nectar, even if it’s labeled as low-glycemic, fall into the processed sugar category.

The take-away.

Stick to whole, unprocessed foods and stay away from processed foods and high fructose corn syrup. Watch for tricky food labels and packaging…just because you’re indulging in a smoothie or seemingly healthy prepared food doesn’t mean added sugar isn’t hiding inside. If you do add sugar, like honey, try to keep it at 6 teaspoons (or under) a day.

When you may not have access to quality whole foods, you can still achieve the necessary nutrition via NutriFusion’s quality supplements. Our ingredients are plant based and never include added sugar, just real food from nature to you. We use first-grade, fresh and high-quality fruits and vegetables to create nutrient dense powder full of natural vitamins and minerals.

Inspired by Good sugar vs. bad sugar, what’s the difference? by Mercey Livingston

Chobani Betting on Plant-Based Dairy Products as Its Next Flagship Product

Chobani, a food manufacturer famous for its Greek yogurt, is set to expand from the yogurt aisle to the plant-based dairy alternatives by betting on oat milk as its next flagship product. The company is set to launch an oat-based dairy product that includes not only oat milk but also oat-based yogurt on separate dates. The company will unroll its oat-based yogurts in December of 2019, while the oat milk and creamers will be launched in January 2020. However, this was not the first time that the company has pushed into making plant-based dairy alternatives as it has already started with coconut-based yogurt during the start of 2019.

Plant-Based Dairy Products are Future Growth for Chobani

Chobani is dubbed as the second-largest yogurt maker in the United States. With the new offering of plant-based dairy products, the company is cementing its goal of not becoming your usual yogurt company. Peter McGuinness, Chobani’s president, noted that the company has been making yogurt for 11 years. Still, this new endeavor transcends from yogurt to a bigger market – vegetarians, vegans, and plant-based eaters – that is a captured market that is exponentially growing in the United States.

McGuinness also mentioned that the company is embracing a transparent approach in its products, citing that its new creamers are made with real cream and contains fewer but more relevant and functional ingredients that the consumers can easily understand. Moreover, he also cited big companies such as Nestle and Danone, whose brands include Coffee-Mate and International Delight, respectively, are made with oil and do not contain any dairy at all.

There couldn’t be a better time to introduce the oat-based yogurt. Aside from the yogurt business getting stronger with sales increasing to 9% annually, according to Nielsen, many consumers are now looking for products that are healthier as well as better for the planet. Oatmilk yogurt is the perfect product to launch. Plant-based dairy products such as oat milk and oat yogurt provide an alternative to dairy, especially for people who have a restrictive diet. McGuinness pointed out that the number of plant-based dieters is increasing. Moreover, he also noted that the market for oat milk is set to increase to $50 million in the following year.

Why Oat Milk?

But with so many products that can be turned into plant-based dairy alternatives, Chobani opted for oats because of its better nutritional value, particularly its low-fat value. Growing oats is also more environmentally sustainable than nut trees such as almonds and walnuts. Lastly, it also has a good taste option than plant-based dairy alternatives made from either soy or almond.

But while launching off the non-dairy alternative can be an exciting venture of Chobani, tension may arise, especially when a dairy company expands into a plant-based offering. As such, Chobani released a press release that developing to the non-dairy alternative products will not replace its other conventional products – much to the relief of their long-time customers. What the company wanted is to expand its consumers from flexitarians to vegetarians and vegans. For ethical marketing, Chobani will be calling its products oat drinks and oat blends instead of “milk” and “yogurt” to avoid deceiving the rest of the consumer population.

Inspired by https://www.chobani.com/oat/

Your Mainstream Guide to Vitamins and Minerals in Drinks

Drink your vitamins and minerals! Yes, I’ll repeat it for mainstream people, meaning people on the go, drinking their food has fast become the norm. But don’t let these drinks fool you because they pack a lot of punch.

Need some energy boost? Easy! Just look for drinks that have B-vitamins to keep you on the go. Are you looking to detox the body? Gulp some cold-pressed juices that are rich in Vitamins A, C, and E or simply A.C.E. Want to keep your bones strong and healthy, reach for a yogurt smoothie that has potassium, vitamin D, and calcium. Refueling and rehydrating is your choice? Then grab a drink with vitamin B12, magnesium, and potassium.

The key here is understanding your vitamins and minerals to achieve your goal better. A lot of beverage manufacturers are formulating and fortifying their drinks from fermented, brewed, to carbonated water to deliver a healthier and more promising product that is stable all through its shelf-life.

Overcoming Gaps in Nutrition with Vitamins and Minerals in Drinks

When it comes to meeting our daily nutritional needs, according to the US Dietary Guidelines, the emphasis is placed on the consumption of nutrient-dense whole food and drinks. In an ideal world where people don’t make poor food choices, eating whole foods should be enough to support optimum health. Whole foods are the key because the body can not make nutrients and minerals; instead, they have to come from food sources. These are called essential nutrients that play a vital role in daily bodily functions. Since we don’t live in an ideal world, and neither are we always making the right food decisions, obtaining these critical nutrients from fortified food and drinks helps individuals meet their daily nutritional needs.

Carefully Fortified and Crafted Beverages

Technologically challenging, crafting fortified beverages takes a lot of research and knowledge that take into consideration not only the flavors, nutrient content but also the functional nutrients like fiber and protein as well as interactions between ingredients and the overall stability of the product.

Take, for example, the fat-soluble vitamins which are vitamins A, D, E, and K. Since they are soluble only in fat, it presents a challenge to add them to water-based drinks. Vitamins are organic substances and are inherently unstable as a whole. They are very sensitive to oxygen, light, and heat. Thus, processing them and adding them to a drink needs considerable knowledge.

Aside from vitamins, some minerals are used to fortify drinks. Minerals are inorganic and don’t break down quickly when processed. However, interactions between minerals are rampant, and a solid understanding is vital in its usage and fortification of drinks. Further, some minerals boost another mineral’s efficacy. Some form of the minerals are less effective, and the more effective form can be a bit costly, but the most effective form should be of paramount choice.

And lastly, lifestyles and ages of the targeted market are also important. Example, a nutritional beverage targeted for an adult athlete can be toxic to a toddler. That’s why the concept for a fortified drink should be adequately developed with a variety of factors to consider.

Inspired by www.foodbusinessnews.net

Choose GrandFusion® Real Food Vitamins & Minerals for Your Drinks

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Do Consumers Know Where Almond Milk Comes From?

Sounds like a silly question but the word milk is commonly associated with cows, like cow’s milk. And herein lies the confusion.

When grocery shoppers are out and about trying to meet their grocery list, they are faced with more choices than ever. Groceries now have a variety of milk to choose from, like plant-based milk alternatives, 1% cow’s milk to whole cow’s milk or even goat milk. This huge selection can be confusing to buyers, and thus the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) put up a poll to see if buyers want their plant-based food labeled using dairy terms.

The Results

There were over 7,000 respondents to the poll and almost 75% of them communicated that they do want the plant-based substitutes to be labeled in traditional dairy terms so that it is easier for them to compare and contrast.

In an earlier version of the poll, the data showed that 40% of households in the US do consume and buy both plant-based milk and dairy-based milk. Those people who drink only cow’s milk, 78% of them chose to use the word milk when describing the plant-based version. However, others who do not consume cow’s milk preferred a more descriptive term when it comes to labeling these plant-based milk alternatives. They preferred to use words like non-dairy or dairy-free compared to milk substitute or milk alternative.

Voluntary Standards for Labeling Plant-Based Dairy

And from these polls grew the voluntary standards for labeling plant-based dairy products. It helped companies to name their products using the plant ingredient used as a base. For instance, soy milk comes from soy products; almond milk comes from almonds; coconut milk comes from coconuts, and so on.

The voluntary standards also recommend companies to use labels that include non-dairy, dairy-free, or plant-based milk. However, in current times, the more significant trend tended to take on the plant’s name like soymilk, almond milk, and the likes. But if you read further, it will contain the phrases dairy-free or its alternative in smaller font.

Some people in the plant-based community are not satisfied with the current label trends because they believe that all milk should be accurately labeled like milk from cows should be cow’s milk or milk from goats should be labeled as goat milk. This is what they deem as descriptive and accurate labeling.

The Future of Labeling Almond Milk and Other Plant-Based Milk

Traditional dairy is declining while on the other hand, plant-based dairy continues to gain traction. 2,700 dairies in the US closed last year, and the whole dairy industry lost more than a billion dollars’ worth of sales. The slowing demand brought dairy prices down and consequently, its overall sales.

Between the years of 2012 and 2017, plant-based milk grew in leaps and bounds. Although data has shown that buyers are not confused about where their bought milk come from, lawmakers have proposed the Dairy PRIDE act which bars companies from using dairy-related words to their plant-based alternatives.

Inspired by www.forbes.com

Plant-Based Beverage Companies are Fortifying with Real Vitamins From Plants

Traditional dairy milk has always been fortified with Vitamin D and even Omegas in some cases. Plant-based beverage companies are looking to GrandFusion® to fortify their products with real, plant-based vitamins and minerals from fruits and vegetables. GrandFusion® fruit and vegetable powders are 100% dispersible and add a natural plant-based solution to vitamins in plant-based beverages. Interested in learning more? Check out our guide to creating functional foods and beverages.

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Bad News for Soda Industry as Study Links Early Death to Sugary Drinks

For decades now, people have known the link between obesity and diabetes to high-sugar drinks like soda and fruit juices. But a recent study published may be the final deathblow to the soda industry as results point to a shortened lifespan by drinking high-sugar drinks like soda.

The study was done by researchers of the Harvard public health and was published in the journal, Circulation, provided evidence that high-sugar or with high-fructose corn syrup drinks like fruit concentrates, sports drinks, and soda can significantly increase a person’s chance of early death in contrast to people who don’t drink said beverages.

The Specifics of the Harvard Study

The study was conducted in a span of 30-years and included over 100,000 individuals consisting of both the male and female population. All in all, the study concluded that both genders had an 18% more chance of dying of cancer and 31% more chance of dying from the cardiovascular-related disease. These were people who drank at least two glasses of sodas a day.

On a more specific view of the study, it reported that for the female population who drank at least two glasses of soda each day, their risk of dying from breast cancer was at 34% while their risk of having an early death was pegged at 63%. For the male population, those who drink two glasses of soda daily increased their risk of premature death by 29% in comparison to people who drank less than one soda a month.

The Key Takeaway for the Soda Industry

The researchers theorized that drinking one soda a month was healthier but was still risky. And that the more you drink these sugary drinks, the higher your risk for an early death goes, which is what the researchers called a graded association with dose.

They also recommend to straight-up ignore drinking a 20-ounce Mountain Dew since it contains a whopping 77-grams of sugar, which defeats people’s alibi of just drinking one soda a week, a month, or just a sip because the healthiest choice will always be to choose water over soda.

If you need more convincing, then in the US diet, the single most significant source of added sugar is from high-fructose corn syrup laden drinks or Sugar-Sweetened Beverages (SSB). Much has been studied about its link with various diseases like coronary artery disease, diabetes, weight gain, and obesity. Although there are a lot of studies linking SSBs with these diseases, not much is known with regards to mortality rates. But given the propensity of SSB to increase your chances of acquiring these health issues, the association between SSB and mortality rate can be easily deduced.

One point that the study wanted to clarify is that women showed an increased risk of death due to heart diseases even with diet sodas. The researchers did propose that this could be due to a historical consumption of “non-diet” sodas, and they switched to the diet soda when health problems started to arise.

Bottom line, the soda industry is walking a thin line, and are looking for new, healthier beverages to promote for future growth. The sugar has finally caught up to manufacturers either through soda taxes or research studies like this one.

Inspired by news.harvard.edu

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George Prior’s Month Long Journey With 10 Cokes a Day

In many first world countries, soda addiction has never been stronger even with various health practitioners spelling doom for those who don’t eliminate it from their diet. Admittedly, what makes soda addictive is its high sugar content and that sugar rush one feels each time they pop a can with its amazing fizz and bubbles.

Sometimes, just hearing it from our doctors is not enough to make people change their habits drastically. But, luckily for us, there is a man who was brave enough to go on an adventure with drinking 10 regular cokes a day. And what’s even more amazing is that he documented the adventure with before and after photos of his month-long journey and by all the gods that we hold dear, the transformation is very obvious and may literally help you quit your soda addiction.

Before the 10 Cokes a Day

George Prior is the brave man who went on a month-long 10 cokes a day challenge. He is in his 50s, lives in LA and is a health-conscious guy. Before the challenge, he had a full physical checkup before the journey and everything was in proper order including normal weight, insulin levels, and blood pressure (BP). He also only had 9% body fat. His diet consisted of lots of water, vegetables, berries, and lean meats. He is into the paleo diet.

The Results after a Month of 10 Cans of Coke a Day

George’s before and after photos would be the glaring evidence to the fatty effects of soda, which we all have anticipated. But more than that here are the other effects that George felt:

  • Sleep troubles – studies show that people who frequently drink soda sleep for 5 hours or less, which is below the recommended sleep times for the body to recuperate. Suga and caffeine are to be blamed for this.
  • Fatigue – or low energy is felt throughout the day due to sugar spikes. The crash after a sugar high leaves you worse than before you drank the soda.
  • Headaches – it is believed that the combination of sugar and caffeine may trigger headaches plus the phosphoric acid, acidity, aspartame, and artificial colors contained in the soda.
  • Increase in body fat – remember, George’s body fat started at 9% and increased to a whopping 64%. The rapidity of fat gain is linked to both heart disease and diabetes.
  • Loss of Appetite – he also experienced and discovered that his overall appetite for healthy and regular foods lessened. He also noticed that his taste buds craved sugar-filled foods.
  • BP Levels Increased – his baseline BP reading was pegged at 129/77 and after the testing, it shot up to 143/96. There is a lot of literature that has reported the linked between increased levels of insulin with increased BP levels.
  • Gained Weight – obviously, George gained a total of 23-pounds within the period of one-month even with sticking to his usual healthy Paleo diet. In fact, in a study conducted by Harvard, just by drinking one can of soda a day led to a 5-pound weight gain within a year.

Inspired by www.health.com

creating functional foods and beverages product development food science testing