Are you or is a family member living with diabetes? If you answered no, are you certain? According to the American Diabetes Association, nearly eight percent of people in the U.S. – children as well as adults – have diabetes. However, almost six million are as of yet undiagnosed. Another 57 million Americans are pre-diabetic, and over one and a half million new cases are diagnosed each year in adults alone.
Whether you know you are diabetic, fear that you could be on the path to diabetes or are simply seeking low glycemic index foods, there are many sugar substitutes on the market. You may worry, though, about potential dangers and adverse effects linked to artificial sweeteners.
Fortunately, you have other options. One such possibility is Truvia. Truvia is a natural sweetener derived from the stevia plant. It has zero calories and zero effect on the glycemic index. It has no aftertaste, either, and is sweeter than sugar so you use even less.
Truvia is made from a natural ingredient from the leaves of the stevia plant, called rebiana. Stevia is an herb in the chrysanthemum family. Native to South America, stevia leaves are steeped in water much like tea in order to extract its natural sweetener.
Celebrity Chef Sam Talbot, semi-finalist on season 2 of Bravo’s Top Chef has teamed up with Truvia to help raise awareness about juvenile diabetes and to demonstrate how you can use Truvia to enjoy delicious foods while staying healthy.
As a young teenager, Chef Talbot learned he had juvenile diabetes. This lead to an awareness of ingredients and nutrition that, coupled with his passion for cooking, gives him unique insight and knowledge. He strives to use healthful, fresh, natural ingredients whenever he can, including Truvia.
If someone in your family is learning to live with diabetes or another insulin-related disorder, or even if you are simply endeavoring to adapt a healthier lifestyle, Chef Talbot offers sound advice. Along with incorporating products such as Truvia, the chef recommends other steps such as getting physical.
“My advice is to make exercise – of any kind – part of your daily routine,” says Talbot. “When dealing with diabetes this is a particularly important must for balanced wellness. In addition, water should be the drink of choice to maintain hydration, help digest food and remove toxins from the body. You can, of course, drink other beverages in moderation, but water has the trump card. Lastly, and most importantly, diabetics have to check their blood sugar excessively until the understanding of it has become a science. Once it reaches this point, then the blood sugar can be routinely checked three times a day.”
Dining out can be difficult and even dangerous for diabetics. Chef Talbot advises you to speak up for yourself, a recommendation from which those watching their weight can benefit as well.
“Diabetics should never be timid about getting the waiters attention at a restaurant, engaging with them and expressing concerns about dish preparation or ingredients,” shares Talbot. “Don’t be afraid to ask what is in something or inquire if the chef can prepare it differently. As far as the menu goes, watch out for terms like glazed, maple or caramelized; those should be instant buzzwords for sugar and you should stay from ordering those items. Terms you should be on the lookout are farm-fresh, locally raised, grilled and so on; things that are prepared with minimal dressing or added unnatural ingredients.”
You do not have to go out to enjoy a healthy, fine restaurant quality meal, though. Preparing foods at home using fresh, natural ingredients such as lean meats, whole grains and special products such as Truvia enable you to indulge in decadent dishes that will not raise your blood glucose levels or bust your calorie budget. For instance, you could try one of Chef Talbot’s recipes.
“My Stir Fry Lemon Shrimp made with Truvia natural sweetener is a great family-friendly recipe,” Talbot reveals. “It is easy to prepare and relies on fresh ingredients for a big punch of citrus flavor.”
Stir Fry Lemon Shrimp
Chef Sam Talbot
Yield: Makes 4 servings
2 tablespoons Truvia Spoonable Natural sweetener*
3 lemons, juiced and zested
½ cup water
¼ cup chopped parsley
1 pound uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and de-veined
3 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup diced celery
¾ cup sweet onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green onion, sliced
3 cup hot cooked brown rice
*May substitute with 7 packets Truvia Natural Sweetener
In a small bowl, combine the first four ingredients. Stir well until blended.
In a large skillet or wok, add all of the vegetables and sauté on medium high heat for about 4 to 6 minutes or until they begin to caramelize. Scrape the bottom of the pan with a spoon or tongs – Add the shrimp and cook for another minute or until the shrimp start to turn pink. Stir in the Truvia lemon mixture and bring to a boil – cook for another minute. If desired, season with sea salt and pepper and serve over the brown rice.
To find out more about using Truvia Natural Sweetener as a sugar substitute, visit the Truvia website. To learn more about living with diabetes, visit the American Diabetes Association website.