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

Meat Consumption and the Link to Type 2 Diabetes

Meat.

It’s an industry that’s worked overtime to convince you to consume what they’re selling. Think “Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner” and “Pork. The Other White Meat.” But study after study slams the salaciousness they’re selling.

Meat’s link to disease.

A recent Diabetes and Metabolism meta-analysis reported on the findings of almost 30 articles focused on the link between meat consumption and the risk for type 2 diabetes. The results were frightening: consuming red meat, processed meat, fish, and poultry can increase the risk for type 2 diabetes.

 

 

People who consumed the:

  • most total meat saw a 33% increased risk of type 2 diabetes
  • most processed meat saw a 25% increased risk for type 2 diabetes
  • most red meat 22% increased risk for type 2 diabetes

 

 

The deck is stacked against you.

Further analyses explored how adding meat to your diet increases risk. For example, adding 100 grams (a piece of meat approximately the size of a deck of cards) per day of total meat increases risk by 36%. Adding 100 grams of red meat increases risk by 31%. If you go one step further and add an additional 50 grams per day of processed meat, you increase your risk for diabetes by a generous 46%.

Why so high?

The authors attribute the associated risk to a list of diet “no-nos’”: saturated fat, dietary cholesterol, heme iron, and animal protein from meat. Serum levels of proteins and iron, plus increased weight associated with meat consumption, may also contribute to the risk.

Keep risk low.

A diet rich in fresh, high-quality fruits and vegetables both lowers the risk for type 2 diabetes and gives your body a necessary boost. Consuming natural, nitrate-rich foods can reduce blood pressure and improve overall circulatory health. Choose vegetables with naturally high nitrate content, rather than those with nitrate manufacturers have added during processing.

We can help.

At NutriFusion, we use first-grade, fresh and high-quality fruits and vegetables to create a nutrient dense powder full of natural vitamins and minerals. High quality food and beverage processors are adding the nutrient dense powder to their products to provide the nutrition bodies need.

We believe in a farm-to-table approach. But, even when you don’t have access to quality fruits and vegetables, you can achieve the necessary nutrition via our quality supplements. Our ingredients are plant based and never include synthetics, just real food from nature to you.

Inspired by Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine www.pcrm.org

Junk Food May be the Culprit Behind Food Allergies

The European Society has noted for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition that kids these days have a higher incidence of food allergies. Scientists believe that this is due to the high junk food content of their diet, which is referred to as AGEs or Advanced Glycation End products.

Statistics on Food Allergies in Kids

Steadily, food allergies have been rising in numbers over the past few decades, worldwide. In fact, in some countries, food allergies in children rose by 10 percent, which is an alarming number and places our kids’ health in danger. As reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 1997 and 2011, the incidence of food allergies in kids in the US rose by a whopping 50 percent. In the United Kingdom, a 500 percent increase in hospital admissions for food allergies has been noted since 1990.

What’s the Driving Force Behind These Food Allergies?

Due to the uptick in food allergy cases, scientists are in hot pursuit of the culprit. Lots of theories have floated which all boils down to early exposure to bacteria and certain foods.

According to Dr. Roberto Berni Canani, a professor at the University of Naples said that “As of yet, existing hypothesis and models of food allergies do not adequately explain the dramatic increase observed in the last few years—so dietary AGEs may be the missing link.” In layman’s terms, these words mean that the spike in food allergies is connected to the increased prevalence of processed food consumption.

It has been reported that the general American population gets half their calories from processed foods that contain AGEs. AGEs are lipids or proteins that are associated with Alzheimer’s disease, chronic kidney disease, atherosclerosis, and diabetes that are chiefly found in some barbecues or roasted meats, microwaved foods, processed foods, and sugars.

Linking AGE products

To test the link between AGEs and food allergies, a study was conducted on children between the ages of 6 and 12 years old. As much as 61 pieces of data were collected and divided into groups of kids who have no allergy as the control, kids with respiratory allergies and kids with food allergies. The results of the study showed a strong connection between food allergies and AGE consumption.

The study positively supports the link between AGEs being a driving factor on the increasing incidence rates of food allergies. However, further research is needed to cement the proof. But with the strong link shown by the test, it is hoped that government agencies can provide health preventive interventions that will restrict junk food consumption. Especially knowing that these junk foods are highly palatable and enjoyable for kids, the sense of urgency to this work is nonetheless emphasized as it will dramatically impact our kids quality of life.

Inspired by www.yahoo.com/lifestyle

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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

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Infant Autism Risk Can be Greatly Reduced with Prenatal Vitamins

Studies show that taking prenatal vitamins may help decrease the chances of infants developing autism even in families with higher risks. Folate, also known as folic acid, used as a dietary supplement has shown to significantly lower risks of developing ASD, also known as an autism spectrum disorder.

Autism Risk in the Family

Families have a higher risk of having another child with autism if they already have a child that is on the spectrum. Because of their genetics and heredity, they are 14 times more at risk to develop ASD. In JAMA Psychiatry, on February 27, new research was published that showed how even in high-risk families, prenatal vitamins are just as sufficient. Based off these studies, prenatal vitamins lower the risk of developing autism by 50% for these younger siblings.

Rebecca J. Schmidt, Ph.D. first author of the study and assistant professor in the department of public health sciences and the MIND Institute, UC Davis School of Medicine, informed Healthline that “Evidence is building for an important role of gestational exposures, including nutrition, in relation to autism. Research from imaging and other studies of the brain show that processes affected in autism occur during pregnancy. Studies have repeatedly shown that taking folic acid supplements was associated with protection from autism in the general population.”

Results of the Study on Prenatal Vitamins

Her studies showed how 241 families with ASD were affected by prenatal vitamins and supplements. They wanted to see if they were affected the same as other families and to see if they also received the same benefits from these supplements. The results showed that 96% of mothers said they took prenatal supplements, but the only ⅓ of supposed mothers took them in the recommended time, which was before pregnancy.

The study also showed that children were less likely to develop severe autism symptoms if the mothers took prenatal vitamins in the first month of their pregnancy. These children also received higher cognitive scores.

The results that came from these studies could profoundly impact public health. It is essential to spread the prevention of ASD for future generations. These findings can guide future expecting mothers with nutritional advice and inform them of health implications that come with supplements.

What the Study Could Mean

Vice-chair of the department of pediatrics at University of Missouri Health Care and part of Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network, Dr. Kristin Sohl, stated: “This is a small study that needs to be replicated in a larger sample before true risk reduction calculations and public health policy decisions can be made.”

Although Folic supplements have its pros, studies from Johns Hopkins University have revealed some cons. In 2016, researchers from the university released that mothers with high levels of vitamin b-12 and folic acid supplement had an 18% increase in chances of autism. But, only in extreme cases do prenatal supplements have a role in causing autism.

In the study, the women had excess levels of the vitamins and supplements; this was not the recommended intake by the World Health Organization. Even researchers from the survey agreed that prenatal vitamins were still essential and beneficial to mothers. Sohl adds on “Because many pregnancies are unplanned and because neural tube defects can develop in the first 28 days of fetal development, all women of child-bearing age are recommended to take increased folic acid.”

Parents should take the initiative to visit their doctors and consult about proper supplements and vitamins to take.

Inspired by www.healthline.com

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Toddler Nutrition Falls Short on Vitamins and Minerals

Toddler nutrition is key to proper development and growth. Children need nutrients like Calcium, Iron, and Vitamin C to name a few in order to grow healthy. While it is ideal for children to bank on their nutrition profile, studies show that many children suffer from nutrient deficiency.

Regan Bailey, associate professor at Purdue University noted that it is hard to track the food intake of toddlers considering that a third of their calorie intake comes from snacking. Unfortunately, the standard American diet did not help much as this particular diet provides too much of the bad things or too little of the good stuff to children. This has led him and his team to release the Feeding Infants and Toddler Study in 2016. With the help of other nutrition researchers, they studied the food intake of infants, toddlers, and children.

Infants Are Nutrient Deficient

The findings of their study suggest that infants who are less than 12 months old have a nutritionally adequate diet but 20% of them have a low intake of iron that is necessary for preventing anemia. Anemia causes low oxygen being delivered throughout the body by the blood and this may cause cognitive impairment. Once infants start eating table foods, the nutritional gaps start to be evident especially when children are fed with nutritionally-deficient food. And with many parents feeding their children with fast food items and processed snacks, many toddlers consume too much sugar, salt, and saturated fats. Moreover, they get too little fiber, Vitamin D and potassium from their diet.

Why Children Need To Bank On Their Nutrition

According to Bailey, children need to bank on vitamins and minerals so that the different functions in the body can be supported. It is important for children to consume the right foods and the only way to address nutrient deficiency is to encourage them to eat a myriad of foods. Instead of giving them cookies and other salty snacks, encouraging them to eat fruits and vegetables is great.

But more than encouraging them to eat healthily, one of the most important things to address this issue is to also encourage parents to eat healthily. The study noted that parents who have limited food preferences also influence their children when it comes to being finicky with food. By encouraging parents to eat healthily, it can help reinforce good eating habits among children.

The Future Of Toddler Nutrition And How Politics Play A Role

Researchers and policymakers also play a vital role in helping address nutrient deficiency among children. Creating strategies that will provide families with easier access to fruits, vegetables, and whole food ingredients is very crucial. In recent dates, policymakers in the United States created the 2014 Farm Bill that requires different health institutions to include information on toddler nutrition in future dietary guidelines. After all, the guidelines’ currently being used are very old and need updating. While this is a small change, it can add up over time thus creating a ripple of difference all over the world.

Inspired by www.purdue.edu

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