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Stevia – the SWEET herb

2015 November 9 by

stevia

Looking for a natural sweetener to use as a sugar substitute? Stevia comes from the leaves of the plant Stevia rebaudiana. It has a long history of use in South America where it has grown wild for centuries and been used to sweeten drinks, food & in traditional medicine. Stevia extract can be 200-300 times sweeter than sugar. Nature has given us a powerful combination of a zero calorie sweetener with a plant-based origin.

Stevia extract has some unique properties:

  • It is a non-carbohydrate glycoside compound that is calorie free
  • It sweetens without triggering a rise in blood sugar
  • It won’t cause a sugar rush & crash typical of sugar addiction
  • It will increase energy and aid digestion
  • It does not cause tooth decay
  • It has a long shelf life, can tolerate high temperatures (ideal for cooking/baking) and is non-fermentative
  • It passes safety tests for human consumption with flying colours
  • It is ideal for people with blood sugar, blood pressure or weight problems

Stevia has a bright future as it becomes accepted as a natural alternative to sugar and the sweetener of the future. It is making a greater appearance in supermarkets and is being widely used in the food & beverage industry.

 

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THE KEY TO A HEALTHY WEIGHT

2015 September 1 by

Being overweight can not only hurt your confidence, but it can be the root cause of many health problems including some chronic diseases. Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight can seem like a never-ending challenge but it is one you have to tackle. You must have a long-term plan to reach and stay at a healthy weight. This plan must include gradual, realistic changes to your lifestyle and eating habits.

If you are wondering what your healthy weight should be, consider the following:Your body mass index (BMI) should be less than 25. A BMI between 18.6 and 24.9 indicates you are at a healthy weight. This is a measure of weight relative to height. BMI is your weight (in kg) divided by your height squared (in cm).Your waist circumference (WC) should be less than 102cm for men and less than 88cm for women.If you are overweight, your aim should be to lose 5-10% of your current weight. A healthy goal is 1-2kg’s per month.

Boost your chances for success by making an achievable weight loss plan that can become a healthy daily routine.

  • Get the advice of a dietician to determine the ideal calorie intake for your body.
  • Control the size of your portions. Take notice of how much you are putting on your plate and skip those second helpings.
  • Plan meals to have the right mix of fresh, nutritious foods – get the right balance of low-glycaemic carbs, fats, high protein & fibre. Don’t forget to drink lots of water.
  • Never skip meals. Have about 6 mini meals a day instead of the usual 3 big meals. Breakfast is the most important, so don’t miss it.
  • Beware of being an emotional eater – emotions can negatively affect what, when and how much you eat. Eat when you are hungry, not in response to an emotional need
  • Increase physical activity. A walk a day will keep the fat away!
  • Make sure you have a support network for advice and to keep you motivated.