Tuesday, November 14, 2017

World Diabetes Day: LiHO PM Drinks and Bosch Tips for Cooking

It's World Diabetes Day today, 14 November! One in nine Singaporeans are diabetic and out of these, 1 in three were not aware they had diabetes. Also, I read somewhere even younger folks are getting it. Yes, you can look like Halle Berry and be diabetic. Get screened.

Most of us were quite surprised when Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong made diabetes a big part of his National Day Rally speech this year. I'm guessing he or someone close to him is affected but this rising epidemic is indeed a cause for concern.

So maybe he won't mind LiHO using his name for their latest range of healthy choice beverages.


The new LiHO PM menu will contain 8 drinks, consisting of pure brewed tea, such as its well-loved Jing Syuan and Guan Yin, Jasmine and Black Tea, as well as pure lemon tea made from fresh lemon juice and your choice of each of the pure brewed teas.

All beverages on this menu are served with stevia leaf extract, which is a sugar substitute suitable for diabetics. The beverages are also low-GI (Glycemic Index) and low-calorie.

Well I'm really glad they have this option. We always choose zero sugar when we go for bubble tea (there's already enough syrup in the pearls to sweeten the drink). Going low sugar is not only good for diabetics but for normal folks too. Sugar can cause inflammation in the body,  leading to more ailments like:

  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Allergies
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Depression
  • Cancer
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Autoimmune disease 


photo courtesy of Bosch

Cooking at home is still the best if you want to control what goes into your food. Bosch has some tips for healthier cooking and eating.

Step #1: Know HOW to cook, not just WHAT to cook
Heathy eating always gets unfairly labelled as being boring or bland. You don't have to resign to uninspiring boiled foods. Roasting, baking and steaming are recommended cooking methods for diabetics, as they require minimal fat to make food tasty. The Bosch Series 8 Ovens were designed to maximise the nutrients retained in roasted, grilled, baked and even steamed food. These ovens are also capable of enhancing the natural flavours of food by achieving the perfect crisp and the perfect succulence without using added oil.

I am moving house next year and I'm definitely looking at this oven now. Even if you don't have diabetics at home, the oven sounds like a good investment for healthier cooking.

Step #2: Take advantage of short-cuts
Multi-functional gadgets can help save time and lives. With the Bosch Series 8 Ovens, all the diabetic-friendly cooking methods of roasting, baking and steaming are now achievable in one oven. Better yet, the oven can also take care of the whole cooking process without any monitoring needed, thanks to its intuitive sensor technology.

Step #3: Don’t avoid the enemy, conquer it
According to Bosch, it’s a common myth that the only way to beat Diabetes is by cutting out carbs entirely. In reality, it’s all about eating in moderation. Don’t be tempted to skip meals. Doing so will only increase the risk of overeating and overindulging in unhealthy treats when hunger takes over. To fight Diabetes effectively, it is absolutely critical to keep your blood sugar levels steady. You can easily achieve this with a well-balanced meal plan. Space out smaller portion of meals evenly throughout the day, which can help with stabilising your appetite and blood glucose levels.

This is where I disagree with Bosch. The ketogenic diet which minimises carbs to very low levels (like 20g a day) has been seen to help diabetics reverse their blood sugar situation. I think it's fine to skip meals sometimes and do intermittent fasting. I don't believe in small portions of food and snacks (like eating six times a day) throughout the day - it only keeps your blood sugar consistently elevated. The medical field is being challenged by lots of new findings. It's best to do your own research and decide what's best.

Step #4: Fill up with greens and proteins
Reducing your intake of carbs shouldn’t leave you hungry, as long as you prioritise non-starchy vegetables and lean proteins, which can keep you full for longer. Even if your new diet leaves your tummy rumbling, you’re absolutely allowed to keep snacks on hand. Nuts and seeds like almonds are great low-carb snacks that are high in protein, healthy fat and fibre.

Step #5: Substitute like a pro
We often make the wrong trade-off when attempting to swap out unhealthy food for better alternatives. For instance, low-fat food can actually contain higher sugar content to make up for the taste. Check the ingredient list just to be sure. If you have trouble decoding the sugar content, simply avoid packaged food and choose real, natural ingredients instead. A simple starting point would be to substitute regular meal starches, like having cauliflower rice instead of Chinese fried rice, or zucchini ribbons instead of pasta.

Diabetes can be deadly but it also can be controlled. It takes awareness, education and discipline but many diabetics I know have changed their lifestyle and made a difference.


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