Living with diabetes requires a diligent approach to food and drink choices. This is because maintaining stable blood sugar levels is paramount to managing the condition effectively. As the consumer demand for healthier and diabetes-friendly products continues to grow, the food and drink industry plays a vital role in providing suitable options that promote well-being while maintaining taste and convenience.
Throughout this blog, we will delve into key areas that are of significant importance when it comes to diabetes management. With a focus on ingredients, free-from, and natural claims, clear nutritional information, and balanced meals and portion sizes, we aim to provide valuable insights into how the food and drink industry can better cater to the needs of individuals living with diabetes.
Lifestyle and Weight Management
Maintaining a well-balanced and nourishing diet is crucial for effectively managing diabetes. It is especially essential to monitor the intake of carbohydrates as they are converted into glucose, impacting blood sugar levels. Individuals with diabetes should prioritize their overall health and well-being by engaging in regular physical activity and adhering to a diet that promotes optimal health. By doing so, they can prevent blood sugar spikes and enhance insulin sensitivity, enabling the body to utilize glucose more efficiently. Embracing a healthy lifestyle empowers individuals with diabetes to improve their overall quality of life, reduce the risk of complications, and attain better control over their blood sugar levels.
Weight management plays a crucial role in mitigating the chances of type 2 diabetes and effectively managing the condition for individuals who have already been diagnosed. With a health-conscious and proactive approach that was catalyzed during the COVID-19 pandemic and has remained since consumers deem their health and wellness highly important. FMCG Gurus’ consumer insights highlight that 68% of global consumers have actively tried to improve their dietary habits over the last twelve months. This highlights that consumers seem motivated to address and maintain a healthy weight. The approach to improve dietary habits and health is due to health concerns, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and certain types of cancer. This demonstrates that consumers will be seeking food and drink that they deem healthy, possibly with the moderation or avoidance of dietary evils, such as sugar.
Brands must offer more products that are higher in dietary fiber. This can help slow down the absorption of glucose, and assist those with diabetes in maintaining steady blood sugar levels. FMCG Gurus’ consumer insights reveal that 18% of respondents associate an unhealthy gut microbiome with a high risk of diabetes. As a result, consumers want to see digestive health claims on food and drink products. However, it must be noted that when it comes to the gut microbiome’s influence on diabetes, there is still much that remains to be understood. Individuals should consult healthcare professionals before making significant dietary or medical changes based on current knowledge of the gut microbiome.
In addition, brands should look into incorporating healthier fats in food and drink products. Some healthy fats can include those found in nuts, seeds, avocadoes, and olive oil. This demonstrates how brands should look to minimize trans fats and saturated fats in products, as these ingredients are associated with negatively impacting heart health.
Make Nutritional Information Clear and Concise
Also, it is essential that brands provide clear labels on products that display nutritional information, such as carb, sugar, and fiber content. This makes the process of making informed choices in line with diabetes easier for consumers.
Another aspect we will explore is the clear and concise presentation of nutritional information. Diabetic individuals rely heavily on this information to make informed choices about their food and beverage consumption. As a result, brands must accurately convey nutritional content, as well as strategies to provide easily understandable information that caters to the needs of individuals managing diabetes.
Sugar Moderation and Balanced Portions
In the beverage industry, brands should offer a wider variety of low-calorie and sugar-free options. Some examples of this include water, unsweetened tea, and naturally flavored water. If brands offer and promote these alternatives, this will help consumers avoid a high sugar intake and encourage them to stay hydrated with ease.
Designing products that align with well-balanced meals can play a vital role in averting sudden rises in blood sugar levels. Additionally, offering smaller portion sizes can assist individuals with diabetes in effectively controlling their carbohydrate intake and facilitating weight management. This creates the opportunity for brands to create and promote food and drink that satisfy consumer expectations for portion control and overall meal balance.
Research and Education
Brands should support education initiatives. This could include collaborating with healthcare professionals and organizations to communicate accurate information about diabetes-friendly products and dietary choices. This will help consumers with diabetes to make more informed choices when eating out of the home and will allow them to manage their blood sugar levels more easily during these times.
Additionally, it is important that brands consider investing in and supporting research on the development of innovative products that are tailored to the needs of consumers with diabetes.