Specialised nutrition supporting a better metabolism
A healthy diet is important for everyone. Even more so at the very beginning of life, during pregnancy and in senior age, or when facing a disease or metabolic disorder, getting the right nutrition needs special attention. These unique circumstances require specialised nutrition, carefully balanced out by experts.
With many people affected by overweight/obesity and diabetes worldwide, options to improve metabolism in favour of a healthy development and disease prevention or successful diabetes management is a topic of great relevance.
Largely overlooked in the segment of specialised nutrition, is the carbohydrate quality and its key influence on metabolism. Not all carbohydrates are alike. The slow release sugar Palatinose™ provides carbohydrate energy in a gentle way, supporting lower and more balanced blood sugar levels with less insulin demand and an improved metabolic profile for those that need the extra care.
Early life nutrition: a healthy start
"Mums breast is best" – a global truth indeed. Yet from 6 months onwards, when complimentary feeding starts (i.e. follow-on formula, growing-up milk), getting a well-balanced, healthy diet is not all too obvious. Making informed decisions on carbohydrate intake from early on has a direct and positive impact on children’s general wellbeing. By lowering blood glucose and insulin levels the likeliness of becoming overweight and consequently developing diabetes later in life diminishes.
Besides lactose, most of infant and toddler foods contain high glycaemic carbohydrates like maltodextrin (GI: 80-100), sucrose (GI: 65) or glucose syrup (GI: 100). These carbohydrates have a much higher impact on blood sugar levels than lactose (GI: 46), and as such, contribute to higher insulin profiles. Replacing them by the slow release carbohydratePalatinose™ (GI: 32) can help to reduce the glycaemic properties of these foods; reducing insulin release and shifting the metabolic profile closer to that of mother’s milk.
Moreover, replacing high GI carbohydrates by Palatinose™ provides sustained energy (in the form of glucose) for cognitive functioning. In school children, Palatinose™ at breakfast has been shown to improve cognitive performance in the late morning, with better memory and improved mood.
Maternal nutrition: attention to gestational diabetes
Pregnancy puts quite some stress on women in more ways than one. While their body undergoes physical changes, they mostly aim for a healthier diet and pay closer attention to nutritional claims on products. Though their concern is often about fatigue, digestive health and body weight,.. with 1 in 7 births being affected by gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), maternal blood sugar management is bound to become more top of mind.
Gestational diabetes (GDM) is a form of glucose intolerance that is first detected during pregnancy and that could affect the health of the mother and her unborn child. Therefore, dietary blood sugar management is commonly the first line of approach for mums at risk of or diagnosed with gestational diabetes. A carbohydrate-based diet with a low impact on blood glucose levels has shown clear benefits. First and foremost it reduces mum’s risk of developing GDM. Secondly, it helps manage gestational diabetes and reduces the risk of negative outcomes for the baby (e.g. high birth weight and body size, future risk of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease).
Accordingly, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) recommends in their (clear) guidelines on pregnancy and diabetes: "Changing the nature of the carbohydrates consumed, particularly with respect to the use of foods with a low glycaemic index (GI), can reduce the postprandial excursions."
The low glycaemic properties of Palatinose™ (GI: 32) were proven in healthy adults and adults with impaired glucose tolerance and diabetes mellitus. As such Palatinose™ fits well into nutrition for pregnant women – it offers them complete yet "slow release" carbohydrate energy.
Weight management: meal replacement for weight control – fighting obesity
Worldwide, over 1.9 billion people are overweight and more than 600 million are obese – accounting for respectively 39% and 13% of the total adult population.
Formulated meal replacement products may be a promising and convenient approach for health conscious people, people trying to lose and manage their weight and those aware of their vulnerability to high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. What is first to take into account is that calories count! – Weight loss requires a downward energy balance. However, steering the metabolism into the right direction can further support weight loss. In this respect, cleverly selecting carbohydrates matters. Commonly used carbohydrates in meal replacement products for weight control like maltodextrin (45%), white sugar (28%) or glucose (14%) are mostly readily digestible carbohydrates that induce a high blood glucose response and high insulin release. Insulin is a ‘storage hormone’, responsible for both body fat storage and the suppression of fat burning. Frequent consumption of high glycaemic carbohydrates promotes fat storage and prevents fat burning and thus the "melting" of fat stores.
The low glycaemic carbohydrate, Palatinose™ has clear benefits in a calorie-restricted weight loss diet. Providing its calories in a more gentle way, it induces a low blood glucose response, so that the body only releases a reduced amount of insulin. This has a positive effect on the entire metabolism, and more fat is used (burned) for energy supply.
Over time, the ability of Palatinose™ to promote fat burning has a beneficial influence on body weight and body fat accumulation (including visceral fat linked with adiposity, and liver fat linked with insulin resistance) in both healthy and obese persons.
The silver generation, maintaining an active lifestyle
People live longer and the standards on quality of life are high. By 2050 an estimated 20% of the global population will be aged 60 or older. As 60 is said to be the new middle age, taking informed decisions in pursuit of an active, dynamic and independent lifestyle can help prevent and remedy age-related ailments.
Today, however, already one in nine elderly adults suffers from impaired glucose tolerance (pre-diabetes) and almost one in five from diabetes mellitus. These numbers are set to increase even further so much that making smart food choices will become ever more paramount.
To get the most out of the silver years healthy food choices should be put into the limelight. By lowering blood glucose response, they help regulate blood sugar levels and therefore limit the risk of age-related diabetes. Within this respect, PalatinoseTM (GI: 32) can act as an excellent alternative to high glycaemic carbohydrates that are commonly used in specialised nutrition. While slowly releasing its energy into the bloodstream, PalatinoseTMdecreases insulin release and improves the metabolic profile. In the long term this may contribute to improved blood glucose control and insulin resistance.
With on average 60% of consumers believing they control their health by making the right food choices, the low-glycaemic yet fully digestible carbohydrate Palatinose TM can be an excellent choice for this health-conscious silver community. Moreover, the sustained energy delivery and lower glucose response of Palatinose™ have been shown to enhance both memory and mood for those with good glucose tolerance.