Nestlé’s Lean Cuisine Balance Bowls touted to aid blood sugar management and boost nutrition
14 Apr 2023 --- The Nestlé subsidiary’s nutritious meals offering meets the American Diabetes Association (ADA) Better Choices for Life Program frozen entrée nutrition guidelines. Lean Cuisine is the first brand to participate in the program to develop a full range of meals in the US designed to support people in managing blood sugar levels.
“Our culinary team worked alongside nutritionists and members of the ADA to ensure that our meals are crafted with filling flavors and well-balanced ingredients that help consumers achieve their personal nutritional goals,” explains Kat Amrhein, Lean Cuisine brand manager.
“Each frozen entrée contains 400 calories or less, a serving of vegetables, and zero grams of added sugar.”
Packed with protein and fiber, the Balance Bowls come in four varieties: Tex-Mex Rice and Black Beans; Lemon Garlic Shrimp Stir-Fry; Roasted Eggplant Parmesan Pasta; and Creamy Pasta Primavera.
The meals also carry the ADA Better Choices for Life logo on-pack, making it easy for consumers to find them in-store.
Taste and learn approach
“We used a test and learn approach to develop these great-tasting meals that make it easy for people managing blood sugar levels to enjoy a nutritionally balanced diet,” comments Jennifer Paine, head of Nestlé’s R&D unit for food in Solon, Ohio.
After a successful pilot through its US R+D Accelerator, Paine says the company is eyeing a broader scale under the Lean Cuisine brand.
As part of the R+D Accelerator initiative, the original recipes went from idea to shop in only six months. The Accelerator team worked with nutritionists, chefs, product developers and regulatory scientists to develop the meals.
After a limited-edition launch in 2022, Nestlé teams further improved the recipes and created new varieties, which will launch nationwide in select US retailers starting in April 2023.
Nestlé aims to provide nutritional products and services tailored to people with specific dietary needs as part of a balanced diet.
In Malaysia, Nestlé launched Nutren GlucoSmart, a novel food supplement containing Reducose, a mulberry leaf extract clinically proven to lower blood glucose spikes.
To complement the launch of Nutren GlucoSmart, Nestlé scientists developed a digital platform that enables the assessment of diabetes risks and provides tailored recommendations for prediabetes-friendly meal plans. As a follow-up, Nestlé launched TangLv, a powdered milk beverage containing Reducose to support healthy aging, under the YiYang brand in China.
In India, Nestlé provides a range of tasty, nutritious, diabetic-friendly recipes based on MyMenu IQ. This scientifically validated nutritional service ranks the healthy balance of meals on a scale from zero to 100.
Nestlé also partnered with the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation to launch “Gut-Friendly Recipes,” a comprehensive free digital tool that uses machine-learning algorithms and nutrition data to generate personalized meal plans for people with chronic digestive issues or anyone seeking nutritious gut-friendly meals.
According to a recent poll, a sizable percentage of older US consumers have an unhealthy relationship with highly processed foods. The findings revealed that much higher rates of possible addiction to processed food are seen among older adults who are overweight or experiencing poor mental health or isolation.
In Australia, Indigenous leaders joined forces with clinicians trained in Eurocentric-based medicine to tackle diabetes remission and metabolic syndrome in their community in a project led by Flinders University.
Healthy People 2030 target
Meanwhile, results from a new study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine show eliminating an average of 14 to 57 calories per day from added sugars will achieve the Healthy People 2030 added sugars target.
Reducing caloric intake from added sugars is a Leading Health Indicator in Healthy People 2030, a national public health initiative led by the US Department of Health and Human Services that sets data-driven national objectives to improve health and well-being over the next decade.
Investigators found that only a modest reduction in added sugar intake is needed to reach a population mean of 11.5% of calories from added sugars by 2030. Prioritizing reducing added sugars intake among people not meeting recommendations could help those most at risk for chronic disease related to added sugars consumption.
Although the consumption of added sugars has declined in the US, many Americans still consume too much. The average added sugar consumption of persons two years and older from 2013 to 2016 was 13.5% of total calories. Less than half the population – only about 35% of children aged two to 19 years and 47% of adults 20 years and older – met the 2020 to 2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommendation of less than 10%.
Edited by Elizabeth Green
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