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.

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The New Decade of Food Trends

The CDC Says Only 1 in 10 Adults Eat Enough Fruits or Vegetables whole30 high fiber foods

Global market research firm Mintel recently released a forecast for food trends in this new decade. This seems to be a crucial decade in which they see consumer tastes for food quickly evolving.

The Trend for More Single-Serve Portions

Single-serve meals are going to have more demand based on statistics from research firms which say that single-person households are on the rise. The US will have more than 36 million single-person households in 2019, a rise of around 80% compared to 2000 statistics. In 2060, the number of elder Americans (65 and above) will be 95 million, almost double that of the 52 million seniors today.

The Battle to Conserve Food

Consumers are becoming more aware of sustainability and waste when it comes to foodstuffs. In fact, this is an important item that many believe will be important for consumers starting this year. Consumers, for instance, are buying irregularly shaped food packages, aware that such items mean that much less food waste.

Retailers are thus studying and applying more flexible packaging systems. “Wonky” veggies and fruits will, therefore, be consumed and not thrown away during processing and packaging. Plastic is also being replaced in packaging by materials that decompose.

New Product Development Means Holistic Health

For manufacturers involved in NPD or new product development, holistic health is coming to the forefront. Consumers want products with lower fat, salt and sugar content, and also want more options on flavors. Meat alternatives are now more popular than ever. More than 30% of Americans think of themselves as flexitarians today. The future is bright when it comes to new product development over the next decade.

Inspired by www.powderbulksolids.com

6 New Superfoods You’ll See in 2020

Every year a set of new superfoods is touted to be the best. They become the newest stars of the nutrition world, giving consumers that much more nutrition per dollar spent on food. These foods may be the basis for or supplementary to your lifestyle. This new year and decade see great new superfoods or macronutrients coming into the market. Take a look at the following:

New Herbs

Last year adaptogens, herbs that help the body combat long term stress and give it endurance, were all the rage. It didn’t take long for herbal gurus like Rachelle Robinett to come up with new herbs that are even better than adaptogens.

She’s marketing a new class of herbs called nervines or nerveless HRBLS, basically, herbs that soothe the nerves instantly. They command the body to come out of fighting mode and put it into a calm and digestive frame.

Fiber is Still It

Fiber remains one of the best and most appreciated options in health and wellness. Expect to buy up your share of high fiber products based on legumes, grains, and nuts in 2020.

You can also turn on to the habit of snacking on these and high fiber snacks are getting more market shares. You can, for instance, use fiber boosts like acacia fiber to smoothies. Ms. Robinett classes fiber as a major macronutrient.

Prebiotics Rising

Like fiber, prebiotics is a powerful aid to digestion. They are becoming more popular, basically following in the footsteps of probiotics. (Probiotics have become so popular that there are even designer probiotic chips for the health-savvy lifestyle eater.)

For a healthy gut, some experts in the field think that prebiotics works better than probiotics for healthy digestion. Prebiotics come from indigestible fiber from plants like garlic, chicory and oats, and certain vegetables or grains. Prebiotic boosts are available in powder packs.

The Perfect Choco

Chocolates are the perfect lifestyle mood boosters. For those who worry that they may be unhealthy, worry no more. Experts have found that super dark chocolate which contains raw cacao is chock-full of antioxidants, fiber, iron, magnesium, and fiber. The votes should rack up for at least 75% dark chocolate content, or higher.

Now you can eat the perfect healthy chocolate to your heart’s content. Moderation, though, remains key to healthy eating even for the latest and the best macronutrients available in the market today.

Bitters for Better Digestion

Still, on the subject of digestive health, digestive bitters will help stimulate the creation of your body’s powerful digestive enzymes. This takes out the need to take exogenous enzymes, usually marketed as pills. Bitters like chamomile and dandelion root found in herbal teas help your body digest properly, reduce bloating and gas, and absorb nutrients better.

Algae Supreme

Chlorella, an alga, contains all the body’s amino acids, is rich in B12, antioxidants, minerals, and other vitamins. It binds naturally to toxins like heavy metals. This makes it a superfood, a powerhouse of health benefits. Make sure you use the tablets or powdered products with the outer shell pulverized.

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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.

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Drinking Tart Cherry Juice May Promote Memory and Cognitive Performance

The University of Delaware recently conducted a study that shows a promising link between the prevention of memory loss and boosting cognitive ability with the consumption of tart cherry juice.

Boosting cognitive performance and prevention of memory loss should not just be the goal of older adults. And neither should it be a goal solely to gain more money or traction up the corporate ladder. Even people in the prime of their lives should opt to promote and protect their brain health. Why? Cases of dementia are on the rise. It is an umbrella term used to refer to a decline in thinking, problem-solving, language, and memory skills that affect a person’s ability to perform daily chores.

The Study on Tart Cherry Juice

In a different study, the University of Delaware stumbled upon the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of the tart Montmorency cherries. It was shown to be capable of reducing blood pressure. The researchers wanted to explore the cherries’ properties further and tested their efficacy on brain health.

The new study results showed that frequent consumption of tart cherry juice showed to improve cognitive abilities as demonstrated by their decision making and memory skills. This is in comparison to test subjects who did not consume any tart cherry juice at all. It was proposed that the cherries’ oxidative stress-fighting and anti-inflammatory properties may help boost the blood flow to the brain, thereby increasing mental capacity. It is also believed that the bioactive compounds it contains like melanin, anthocyanins, and polyphenols may be crucial to its blood-pressure-lowering effects.

Importance of Cognitive Function

It is crucial to reiterate that cognitive function is a vital indicator of the quality of life and independence—whether as an older adult or not. That’s why it is important to start providing your brain function with the support and protection it needs to continue to do its cognitive role efficiently and reliably. And one way of achieving this is through the frequent consumption of tart cherries in the form of juice as put forth by the study.

Inspired by www.foodandwine.com

Foods Rich in Flavonoids Have Cancer-Fighting Abilities

What makes fruits and vegetables healthy are that they contain enzymes that can influence physiological processes in the body, and also contains flavonoids that can bring many benefits to the body.

A study conducted by researchers from ECU’s School of Medical and Health Sciences analyzed data obtained from the Danish Diet, Cancer and Health Cohort with 53,048 Danes for 23 years. The study found that people who regularly consume foods that are rich in flavonoids are less likely to die from cardiovascular diseases and cancer. The study was published in the journal, Nature Communications, and is a collaboration between the Danish Cancer Society Research Center and Herlev & Gentofte University Hospital.

What Is the Study All About?

The lead researcher, Dr. Nicola Bondonno, noted that the protective effects of flavonoids are highest among people who are at risk of developing chronic diseases. This is especially true among people who heavily smoke and drink alcohol, particularly those who consume more than the recommended amount per day. The findings of the study are significant because flavonoid-rich foods can be used to prevent the onset and development of chronic diseases potentially. But aside from people with chronic diseases, flavonoids can also benefit healthy people who want to maintain their good health.

Where to Get Flavonoids?

While many fruits and vegetables contain specific amounts of flavonoids, one can get more by consuming flavonoid-rich foods such as tea and apples. Other types of foods that are rich in flavonoids include broccoli, oranges, and berries. There is a myriad of fruits and vegetables that contain high amounts of flavonoids. The study shows that consuming at least 500 milligrams of total flavonoids can reduce the risk of cancer as well as heart-related diseases.

How Many Flavonoid-Rich Foods to Consume?

But how much of these foods should you take in to benefit from flavonoids? The same study noted that it is easy to achieve the daily recommended amount by having an idea of the serving sizes of foods that you should eat. For instance, you can get 500 milligrams of flavonoids by consuming any of the following: one apple, one cup of tea, one orange, 100 grams of broccoli, and 100 milligrams of blueberries.

How Do Flavonoids Work?

While the study is conclusive that flavonoids can help promote better health, the mechanism on how it brings benefits to the body might still be a little vague. However, Dr. Bondonno noted that the protective effect of flavonoids is because it has anti-inflammatory properties. The anti-inflammatory properties can help improve blood vessel function as well as promote the immune system function.

The Future These Natural Wonders

Flavonoids come with potent anti-inflammatory benefits to the body, but Dr. Bondonno wants to research further the specific types of cancers and heart diseases that can benefit from flavonoids. Eventually, identifying the type of cancer and heart disease that can be prevented by flavonoids and the kind of food that can help the body may lead to the development of medicine made from nature.

Inspired by www.sciencedaily.com

Lowered Risk for Cardiac Diseases is Tied to a Healthy Plant-Based Diet

It may not sound surprising. Still, a US study has indicated that individuals who consume a healthy plant-based diet have a lower likelihood of developing and dying from heart-related problems.

The Study Background

Over three decades, researchers have followed 12,168 middle-aged adults and evaluated their food preferences and eating habits at various points of the study. Through the length of the study, there were a total of 5,436 contributors who died, and out of these numbers, it was shown that 1,565 of them did due to a cardiovascular problem.

As a background, the participants of the study were between the ages of 45 and 64 years old. During the beginning of the study, these participants did not have any heart problems. Further, the study also segregated the participants’ plant-based diet into four classes. One, the diet that was more unhealthy and starchy plants like processed foods and potatoes. Two, an entirely vegetarian diet. Three, a plant diet based more on green vegetables. And the fourth, an overall plant-based diet but not strictly vegetarian.

It was seen that people who adhered to diets 2 through 4 consumed less than a serving of processed food or red meat a day with an average of 4.1 to 4.8 servings of vegetables and fruits. While those on the first diet usually had 1.2 servings of processed or red meat daily with an average of 2.3 servings of fruits and veggies.

It is noted, though, that the study’s limitation is that the research relied on the participant’s capability of accurately recalling and reporting what they ate.

Key Intake from the Study Results

  • It was seen that throughout the study that those who embraced and carefully adhered to a plant-based diet were physically active, high school graduates, white, and women. And it was also seen that those who adopted the plant-based diet were less likely to suffer from diabetes, high blood pressure, or obesity. Almost all of them were non-smokers.
  • Vegetarians and those participants who incorporated more plant-based and healthy food options in their diet had a 16% lower risk of getting diagnosed with a cardiovascular problem in succeeding follow-ups.
  • On the other hand, individuals who did not eat a lot of plant-based food in their diet increased their chance by 16% of getting non-fatal strokes or heart attacks and even developing heart failure in comparison to those individuals who ate more plant-based food.
  • What’s alarming is that the study showed a diet rich in refined carbs, and animal products have a higher chance of dying from heart disease. This chance is indexed at a 32% rate while the chances of dying—from any cause—during the study were pegged between 18 to 25 percent.

A Healthy Plant-Based Diet Can Make a Difference

As the study provides more evidence pointing to plant-based food being good for your heart health, everybody is urged to add more whole grains, vegetables, and fruits in their diet while lessening the consumption of processed and red meat.

Inspired by www.reuters.com

Can Skin Cancer Risk Be Reduced By Vitamin A?

Are you ready for the answer? Straight from the researcher’s findings and as published in JAMA Dermatology:

“We found an inverse association between intake of vitamin A and carotenoids and risk of cutaneous [squamous cell carcinoma], supporting the protective role of vitamin A against [squamous cell carcinoma] development. Our data further support the contention that supplemental and dietary vitamin A may be beneficial in preventing [squamous cell carcinoma].”

When written in medical terminology, it all sounds like mumbo-jumbo. Why can’t they just answer the question with a straightforward yes or no? Simple, because in a live species and constantly changing the world and environmental factors there’s a lot of things that need to be considered. Let’s take the first step to make it easy to understand.

What is Vitamin A?

It is a fat-soluble vitamin that is important for sustaining a variety of life processes within our body. It is crucial for skin health, reproductive health, and eye health. Although a variety of study has shown the benefits of vitamin A in keeping the skin supple and young, there is no direct evidence to support its ability to boost skin health.

When sourced from animals, vitamin A is known as retinol and is found in beef liver, turkey, chicken, and eggs. In vegetables, it is known as beta-cryptoxanthin, alpha-carotene, and beta carotene. Good plant sources of vitamin A are papaya, apricots, broccoli, pumpkin, butternut squash, kale, carrots, and sweet potatoes to name a few.

Vitamin A can also be consumed from supplements. For females, the maximum daily dose recommended is not more than 700mcg daily and for men no more than 900mcg a day.

The Link Between Skin Cancer and Vitamin A

In the US alone, there are 1 million new cases of skin cancer each year. And the most prevalent type is the squamous cell carcinoma, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. Due to its frequency, healthcare practitioners are urged to find better ways to lower people’s risk of getting skin cancer.

The results were based on a study of 48,400 men with an average age of 54.3 years old and 75,170 women with a mean age of 50.4 years old. The study took 26 years and resulted in a total of 3,978 documented skin cancer within the study population.

Analysis of subsequent follow-up showed that individuals who had a higher vitamin A intake showed to have a decreased risk for acquiring squamous cell carcinoma or skin cancer.

Key Findings of the Study

  • Yes, the study found that individuals who had a high intake of vitamin A showed an equally lower risk for skin cancer, specifically the squamous cell carcinoma type.
  • Is the form or source of vitamin A in the diet important? Yes, the source of vitamin A matters. According to the study, in the population studied, those who got their vitamin A sources from whole food and most especially those sourced from vegetables have a lower risk for cell cancer. Thus, vitamin A sourced from vegetables are better than the ones sourced from animals. And vitamin A sourced from whole food trumps the ones from dietary supplements.

Inspired by www.medicalnewstoday.com

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