280 Australians develop diabetes every day, and diabetes alone costs the Australian community $14.6 billion dollars a year. Diabetes Awareness Week scheduled from 15th of July until July 20th, 2013 is raising awareness of the growing prevalence of this condition in the community, health professionals and sufferers are calling for more long-term solutions.
The prevalence of diabetes in Australia has dramatically increased over the past 10 years. In 2001, 554,200 Australians had diabetes, but 2012 statistics show that this figure has dramatically increased to 875,000. The epidemic has seen a growth in the health and weight loss industries as of recent times driving more consumers to look for a solution through sugar free eating and alternative nutritional diets.
Sugar provides excess calories that are easily and rapidly absorbed by the body, making it a high risk factor for diabetes and obesity. In fact, adding just one sugar-sweetened beverage to your daily diet almost doubles your risk of diabetes. The long-term consequences of untreated diabetes can have devastating health effects including heart disease, kidney disease, nerve and blood vessel damage, blindness and gum disease.
A simple way to effectively reducing sugar intake is to swap sugar for a natural sweetener such as Natvia. Unlike artificial sweeteners that contain potential cancer causing ingredients such as aspartame, methanol, phenylalanine, Natvia is made from the freshest part of stevia plants and is blended with naturally occurring nectar found in fruits. Natvia is 100% diabetic and tooth friendly, containing only 0.4 calories per serve compared to sugars 16 calories.
Natvia can be used in tea, coffee and baking, giving food and drink the same delicious sweetness but without any sugar and any guilt. It is suggested that making the switch to Natvia will highly reduce your sugar intake lowering your chances of diabetes and heart disease.
Natvia co-founder Sam Tew says 'At Natvia, we want to be part of the solution to help sufferers of diabetes find a healthier alternative to their nutrition."
'Our goal is to help spread the health revolution through our products and change as many people's lives as we can."
For more information about Natvia, please visit www.natvia.com.au
There is far too much sugar in children's diets. It has been found that children as young as one years old are consuming over seven times the recommended daily intake of sugar.
Too much sugar in the diet can lead to a number of dangerous health problems such as obesity and diabetes , but it is also very important for kids to endure a healthy diet, as it has been found that kids with a higher sugar intake lack concentration in school and have a poorer academic performance.
Food manufacturers promoting -healthy' snacks in kids lunch boxes can sometimes stretch the truth even on kids drinks, where kids can consume up to a whopping 58 grams of sugar per serve! That's nearly 500 calories!
In recent times the Australian Government have encouraged guidelines for parents to follow to make sure children are eating a healthy balanced diet. That said, is there many 'healthier food options for kids?"
Australian company Vitarium, have developed an answer for parents looking for healthier food options for their kids. Their philosophy around creating healthier alternatives has driven them to create a range of drinking chocolates that are sugar free.
In line with National Diabetes Awareness Week this month, Vitarium have developed a delicious drinking mix containing nothing artificial or added sugar, sweetened naturally by Natvia. There are three kids flavours chocolate, strawberry and banana, and the adults don't miss out either with a rich chocolate and mocha mix. With less than 10 calories per serve, kid's can enjoy a fun delicious tooth-friendly drink while still getting all the nutritional benefits of milk, and without the excess energy.
Parents are now empowered to choose a much healthier alternative, while educating kids today about the problems related to high sugar intake such as diabetes and heart complications.
For more information about Vitarium visit www.vitarium.com.au
Please visit the Vitarium Facebook page to download sugar free recipes https://www.facebook.com/vitarium
Question: What is Natvia?
Natvia is a 100% natural sweetener derived from the stevia plant. Natvia has low GI and very low calories. Natvia is diabetic safe and it can be used during pregnancy. Natvia is crafted for tea, coffee, cooking and baking. www.natvia.com.au
Question: What are the ingredients of Natvia and how is it a natural sweetener?
Natvia is made from the Reb A, which is the sweetest part of the stevia plant and erythritol, which is naturally occurring nectar found in fruit. There are no artificial ingredients in the Natvia formula.
Question: What is stevia?
Stevia Rebaudiana (commonly called stevia) belongs to the chrysanthemum plant family. It is native to South and Central America, but is now is grown in over 20 countries. The leaves contain steviol glycosides that are high intensity natural sweeteners, 200-300 times sweeter than sugar.
Question: How is it an alternative option for those with obesity or diabetes to add to their diet?
Firstly there are 2 types of diabetes. Diabetes type 1 is the less common form of diabetes and has a genetic cause.
Diabetes type 2 can be preventable and it is the most common form of the disease. Being overweight increases the chance to develop type 2 diabetes. It is estimated that almost half of the world population are unaware of their diabetic condition.
Diabetic people need to control their sugar intake and Natvia can help them to live a normal life enjoying the sweetness without compromising their health condition.
People that are overweight need to have a healthy and balanced diet, reducing their sugar intake and doing more exercise. Natvia is a great way to cut down the sugar intake without compromising the taste. With almost no calories, Natvia helps your weight management program.
Question: Why should people use Natvia as an alternative to sugar or artificial sweeteners in recipes?
Studies have showed that artificial sweeteners can be harmful for our health. On the other hand sugar contains a lot of calories and the growth of processed food consumption, lack of exercise and raise of stress due to a busy life has increased the amount of overweight people. Introducing a healthier diet means eating more natural ingredients, using less processed food that contains a lot of artificial ingredients and are also very high in sugar and salt.
Natvia helps you to enjoy a sweet taste naturally with almost no calories and controlling your glycemic index. Natvia has almost the same texture as sugar making it very easy to use in cooking and baking. Thanks to Natvia it is possible to have a low GI and low calorie dessert that tastes the same as the less healthy option, which is often full of sugar.
Question: Who can benefit from using Natvia?
Anyone can benefit from using Natvia specially people on weigh management, suffering from diabetes and fructose or gluten intolerance. Unlike sugars, Natvia is the tooth friendly option that consumers with a sweet tooth can enjoy.
Question: How does Natvia lower our chances of diabetes and heart disease?
The use of Natvia doesn't low your chances of having heart disease. Having diabetes is what increases your chances of heart disease.
As mentioned before, Natvia has a very low glycemic index, which lower your chances of developing diabetes. The use of Natvia combined with a healthy diet and exercises is a great way to prevent diabetes and consequently other health issues linked to diabetes.
Question: How can Natvia be added to our diets?
Natvia can be added to our daily diet by using it in the cooking and baking, but also in coffee and tea. Natvia is also used as ingredients in some products such as Fountain tomato and barbecue sauces and Vitarium drinking mixes.
Question: Can those without obesity or diabetes benefit from using Natvia?
Anyone can benefit from using Natvia.
Question: Do desserts made with Natvia a taste exactly the same as those made with sugar?
Natvia is the 100% natural sweetener closest to sugar in taste and texture. Most of people don't feel the difference between a dessert made with Natvia or made with sugar. However a small amount of people will feel the difference in the taste and this is due to different taste profiles existing in the population.
Natvia can be used for sweet but also for savoury dishes. We have a recipe website where you can find hundreds of sweet and savoury recipes made with Natvia.
Question: What affect does sugar have on the body?
The National Health and Medical Research Council (2013) predict that by 2015, 83% of men and 75% of women aged 20 years or more will be overweight or obese – linking sugar as a major contributor to the obesity epidemic.
Fructose (the molecule that makes sugar sweet) is metabolized in the liver and the excess is converted into liver fat. Fatty liver disease can drives the pathologic process of insulin resistance, and causes the same chronic diseases " obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.
Sugar is weakly addictive. In animal studies, fructose causes the four criteria of addiction: bingeing, withdrawal, craving, and sensitization to other addictive substances (meaning after chronic exposure to sugar, it's easier to get hooked on another drug). In humans, fructose has effects on the reward center in your brain similar to alcohol; and just like alcohol, can lead to a 'vicious cycle" of consumption and addiction.
Question: What's next for you in achieving your goal of spreading the health revolution?
Our goal is to spread the health revolution and change as many people's lives as possible. Part of this program is to work with partners to develop healthier food alternatives that people can find in their local grocery store. We want to provide great tasting products to our palette without compromising on the ingredients.
Interview by Brooke Hunter