News in healthy diabetic diet: a food technology lab in Singapore is creating new low-GI versions of common foods.
Just as in many other developed countries across the world, diabetes is a big problem in Singapore. Getting people to switch to healthier foods in order to have healthier bodies is hard to do, so Alchemy Foodtech decided to open a lab to create foods low on the glycemic index in order to help people live healthier.
What is the glycemic index?
The glycemic index, also known as GI, is a tool used by people with diabetes who are trying to manage their diets. Foods that have a high glycemic index are absorbed quickly, which causes an increase in blood sugar levels.
Low GI foods are typically rich in fiber but might also be high in fat, saturated fat, and calories. The index is based on the weight of the food and not the portion size. Portion control is important for managing blood sugar and weight, regardless of the GI value of the food.
The GI is not related to the nutrition level of the food. Keep in mind that a food’s GI is based on a food by itself, but foods are usually paired together for meals. It’s best to use the GI system by trying to combine high-GI foods with low-GI foods.
Foods high on the glycemic index like white rice, bread, and noodles spike blood sugar quickly. And sometimes it’s hard to get those blood sugar levels down.
New ingredient to enhance diabetic diet
The lab is focusing on foods everyone eats in Singapore, such as rice and bread. They created a new compound, called 5ibrePlus, made of plant fibers and extracts. They add this ingredient to foods to lower their GI without affecting their taste and texture. The compound was developed over three and a half years, and went through several engineering trials and human clinical studies.
The lab is planning to partner with local food manufacturers to help them create healthier foods.
As of now, the cost of adding the ingredient to foods is high, but with greater production, the hope is that the cost will go down.
Alchemy Foodtech started in 2015 and received S$2.5 million in funding last year to develop healthier foods and enhance food production.
Singapore’s advancements in food, healthcare, and diabetic diet can possibly extend to other countries whose populations struggle with diabetes.