Chef offers tasty meals for diabetics

Robin Wulffson MD's picture
diabetes, frozen meals, tasty, vegetarian, low glycemic index
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Chef Robert Lewis refers to himself as the “The Happy Diabetic” because he has “discovered the joy of nutrition-rich food.” The author of two cookbooks for diabetics suffers from type 2 diabetes himself. His latest endeavor is the creation of the first diabetic-friendly frozen meals. Meals-in-a-Bun will arrive in Northeast US grocery stores beginning in July and roll out across the nation through the end of the year. His Santa Clara, CA-based company, Lifestyle Chefs, specializes in creating meals inspired by world cuisines and using only natural, healthy and nutritious ingredients. The company reports that Lifestyle Chefs’ products are all vegetarian and diabetic-friendly; thus, they are ideal for families who want fast, convenient meals that are low in calories, high in nutrition and robust in flavor. They ’are low on the glycemic index, low in sugar and carbs, high in soluble fiber, low in trans-fat, high in lean protein, and low in sodium. Lewis notes, “And the best thing is, they are delicious.” Five varieties are currently available, two vegan and three vegetarian; they include selections such as Thai Satay, mushrooms, broccoli and tofu in whole-wheat flax bun. Lewis notes, “This is particularly exciting because, while there have been advances in equipment that makes life easier for diabetics, there haven’t been for convenient, packaged foods.”

Lewis notes that his company is a component of a whole industry that has grown up around freeing diabetics to lead less restricted lives. With the number of diabetics growing worldwide––246 million at last count, according to the World Health Organization (WHO––businesses are motivated. In 2011, diabetes therapeutic products were a $23.7 billion dollar industry feeding a growing population that’s starving for a better quality of life. In addition to diabetic-friendly frozen foods, other recent innovations include: tubeless insulin pumps and a needleless blood-glucose monitoring system.

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In addition to his frozen meals, Lewis notes two other “firsts” that diabetics can look forward to:
The first tubeless insulin pump. Thirty years ago, people with insulin-dependent diabetes had to give themselves shots around the clock to control their blood sugar levels. In some cases, diabetics were hospitalized to ensure they got the insulin necessary to prevent ketoacidosis, a condition that can lead to coma and death. In 1983, the insulin pump was introduced. It attaches to the body and provides continuous insulin injections. But while it was a major breakthrough, it can be bulky and awkward, with a dangling catheter. The most recent innovation is a streamlined version called the OmniPod. It has no tubes, it’s smaller and it attaches anywhere on the body with adhesive. It also has a built-in glucose-monitoring system.
The first needleless glucometer. The Symphony tCGM System uses ultrasound to monitor blood-sugar levels, which will free people from the painful pricks needed to get a small blood sample for testing multiple times a day. The device, which attaches with adhesive to the body, continuously tracks glucose levels day and night and can send the readings to your smart phone. Under development for more than a decade, Symphony is undergoing the studies necessary to win regulatory approval.

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See also: New book by UCLA physician focuses on healthy eating for kids

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