Every day, 290 Australians discover they have diabetes. This chronic disease has serious complications and type 2 diabetes alone costs our country $10.3 billion each year. If the prevalence of diabetes continues to grow at the rate it currently is, by 2030 it will consume the entire federal budget of Australia. For this reason alone, there’s no wonder this week is Diabetes Awareness Week.
With type 2 diabetes being a lifestyle disease, it’s no wonder the rates of diabetes are going through the roof. Think about the average person’s life…they wake up, get themselves ready for work and maybe even the kids ready for school, they commute 30-60 minutes to work and then sit sedentary at their desk all day, only to get back on public transport or in the car to commute the long distance home. Tired from work, they throw something quick and cheap together (or swing past a takeaway outlet for a hassle free feed). It’s no wonder many of us dot have the time to meet the daily physical activity guidelines or prepare a healthy balanced diet on a regular basis. Then of course there is the huge amount of mixed messages around eating in general, which often leaves us confused about what food choices are best.
Walk down any supermarket aisle and the number of products praising their nutritional quality is enough to think that there’s no bad food choice. But if you turn on the pack and look at the nutrition information panel, you’ll soon find that may be that food choice isn’t the best after all. While food approval programs like the Heart Foundation’s Tick or the GI symbol are designed to make selecting nutritious choices easier, it’s still a challenge for people with diabetes or pre-diabetes, who are watching their blood sugar, or for those wanting to make healthier food choices, without compromising on taste and quality, to find products that meet their needs. Along with the demand for nutritious options, there’s also the need for convenience foods that are quick and easy to prepare. These are the reasons why Made for You Foods was born.
About Made For You Foods
Made For You Foods is an Australian owned company co-founded by chef and author Peter Howard who also has type 2 diabetes. The company’s aim is to make delicious food that meet the needs of people who are watching their blood sugar levels. All the Made For You products have been developed in conjunction with Accredited Practising Dietitians (Nicole Senior and myself). Nicole and I developed the nutrition criteria to ensure the Made For You products were suitable for people with diabetes and pre-diabetes, as well as for people wanting to make healthy, convenient choices without compromising on taste. Made For You Foods also wanted to make the products easy to spot and developed the D-tick symbol.
The D-tick symbol is a food approval program designed to make it easy for people managing their blood sugar levels to identify suitable food options. It highlights food products that meet specific nutrition criteria, promoting foods that are low GI, have a suitable portion size, promote the consumption of vegetables and fibre, and limit the intake of saturated fat and sodium. D-tick considers the complete nutritional value of a meal and recognises that convenience food should consider more than just energy and saturated fat content. Currently, D-tick is displayed only on Made For You frozen meals and pizzas, however it is expected to be adopted by other brands over time.
When Nicole and I developed the nutrition criteria for D-Tick, we benchmarked it against existing nutrition criteria approval programs such as the GI Symbol, the Australian Diabetes State and Territories Organisations Healthy Shopping Guide, the Heart Foundation Tick and Food Standard Australia New Zealand Health Claims Nutrient Profiling Tool. Combining this benchmarking with evidence-based practice in the dietary management of diabetes, lead to the development of the D-tick nutrition criteria. The D-tick nutrition criteria is approved by the Australian Diabetes Council. Here’s an example of the D-tick criteria for frozen meals and pizzas.
Made For You products include a Vegetable Lasagne, Beef Lasagne, Cottage Pie, Thai Green Chicken Curry and Supreme Pizza. Made For You frozen meals and pizzas can be purchased from the freezer section of Woolworths supermarkets nationally.
Have you seen the D-tick on Made For You products?