Health must taste good!

I always wanted to have a job that improves peoples´ lives. At first, I wanted to become a physician but quite soon I realized that I prefer to prevent disease rather than curing it. That lead me into my career as a food researcher – a choice I have never had reason to regret. I am a strong believer in the preventive properties of foods, and 20 years of research has convinced me even more. Unfortunately, we are seeing a society that is going the wrong way. Food-related diseases are skyrocketing, and enormous resources are spent to treat and mitigate conditions that would be so easy to prevent just by eating healthier. My view is that the power of nutrition needs much more focus on all levels of society – among policymakers, medical care systems and all through the school educations for children of all ages.

But we all know change doesn´t come easy, and that is why I think healthy properties must be included in foods and drinks that are easy for people to embrace. Or, to put it short: health must taste good! This is where I have found my role today, and that´s the whole idea behind Good Idea – the functional sparkling water that evens out the blood sugar curve after a meal. There are years of research and development behind this seemingly simple product, and here´s a short version of the story:

In 2001, when I was doing research at the Food for Health Science Center at Lund University in southern Sweden, I published a scientific paper establishing the connection between the intake of various milk products and surprisingly high insulin responses. Later on, my research group found that intake of whey before and with a meal rich in fast carbohydrates could substantially lower the blood sugar spike following a meal, similar to the “milk mechanism”. The presence of five specific essential amino acids appeared to be significant. An idea of an effective blood glucose regulating food product was born, and a joint product development project was initiated with Swedish Food & Biotech company Aventure AB.

When a small proportion of chromium, well known for its role in blood sugar regulation, was added to the blend we were thrilled by the results. Our first clinical study showed that the blend dissolved in water, taken before and with a carb-rich meal could reduce the post-meal blood sugar spike with 20-30%”. Repeated clinical studies confirmed the results, and we started working on a product that could help the body handle the sugar spikes in a more efficient way.

And here we are today. Studies in the USA have confirmed the early results and since 2017 Good Idea is now available to the US market. I am particularly happy to see how well it has been received by the professional health community – nutritionists, dietitians, diabetes nurses, and MDs, as a new tool to help people move toward a healthier lifestyle.

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