MiaoMiao2 Smart Reader for FreeStyle Libre now Available in South Africa

MiaoMiao2 is an independent bluetooth reader designed to work with your FreeStyle Libre sensor. It transmits continuous glucose reporting every 5 minutes to your smartphone. MiaoMiao2 is rechargable and waterproof. You can track your blood sugars levels in real time and set low or high alarms without scanning your Libre sensor. With MiaoMiao2+Libre, you now get a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) which can also interface with closed loop artificial pancreas insulin systems.

Watch the video for more info or visit miaomiao.co.za

The science behind the Amajoya Sugar Free Collection

Ever wondered how sugar free sweets are made? Read more on the science behind the Amajoya Sugar Free Collection.

The history of Amajoya

To be a surgeon, one needs to possess certain qualities, including a complex understanding of science, extreme precision, natural talent and a whole lot of passion. These same qualities are just as essential for a master confectioner. Fancy that!

It was just over twenty years ago that a Cape Town-based surgeon decided to follow his heart (or was it was his sweet-tooth?) and train as a sweet-maker at one of Germany’s most prestigious confectionery schools. Here, his doctor’s understanding of science and chemistry gave him a distinct edge.

On his return to the Mother City, he could craft and hone his recipes, using the finest ingredients to create distinctly different and delightful candy. And so, the Amajoya artisanal confectionary company was born.

Extraordinary and unique

The Amajoya commitment is to use fewer ingredients, ingredients closer to nature and fewer processed ingredients. We continually reformulate using less processed ingredients where possible on our quest for cleaner, simpler labels with less ingredients.

Our philosophy is that of balance and awareness of how you treat yourself in relation to your total daily food intake and activity.

Amajoya focuses on a unique way of combining and making the delicious collection of sweets. Our process is proprietary. Our founder, a medical doctor who left his career in neurosurgery, and followed his passion for sweet manufacturing, has a talent for technology and truly applies art and science to the process and recipes of the Amajoya Collection. Nothing in our way of making our sweets or our recipes is ordinary. The Amajoya Way is always extraordinary and unique.

We blend quality ingredients to create a taste that is unique in the world of luxurious sumptuous candy. When you pick Amajoya, you can be sure you’re getting a real product made with the best ingredients, care, integrity and a whole lot of love.

Authenticity is important for Amajoya. So, cleaner labelling (GMO free, no hydrogenated fats, real ingredients) and striving to keep our indulgent sweet collection packed with better stuff, is important to us. By the end of the year, all our sweets will only contain natural colourants.

The Amajoya Collection

Amajoya is the leading retail hard candy brand in South Africa. In 2013, we launched our first range of solid sugar free sweets, a classic Butterscotch, Buttermint and a three Fruit flavoured packet.

In 2018, we launched a luxury range of filled sugar free sweets with cocoa crème filling: Butterscotch, Buttermint, Coffee and Vanilla Raspberry.

Understanding the science of sugar free

Now a quick lesson on the science that goes into the sugar free world of products. It is important to understand a few scientific facts.

What is the definition of sugar free confectionery?

In nearly all countries in the world, it means that the total sugar content must be less than 0,5 g per 100 g.

What is a sugar?

A sugar is either a monosaccharide, such as glucose (dextrose) or fructose, or a disaccharide, such as sucrose (normal granulated sugar), maltose or lactose (milk sugar).

A saccharide is the most basic unit of sugar/carbohydrates. It is either a 5-membered ring, such as fructose, or a 6-membered ring, such as glucose.

A disaccharide, for example sucrose, consists of one fructose unit and one glucose unit. These can be split by a process, called hydrolysis, which requires one molecule of water, heat and acidity, or it can be broken down by the enzymes in your small bowel. This is why your blood glucose rises so quickly.

Making sugar free sweets

Sugar free sweets have a very low glycaemic index. Food items, such as bread (75) and sugar (65) have high glycaemic values. Isomalt (the ingredient we use in Amajoua) has a very low glycaemic index of about 5.

To make sugar free sweets, the sugar and glucose syrup must be replaced by something. These are called bulk sweeteners (polyols), such as isomalt, maltitol, erythritol or sorbitol.

Our preferential sweetener is isomalt. We buy our isomalt from Germany. It is made from granulated sugar in a two-step process.


Polyols are generally less sweet than sugar, so normally non-nutritive (intense) sweeteners are added. These substances do not provide any nutrition. The common artificial sweeteners are sucralose, aspartame, acesulfame K or saccharin .

Sucralose is made from sugar. These substances are generally 400-600 times as sweet as sugar and are used in parts per million. Stevia is an example of a natural non-nutritive sweetener.

Polyols are not well-absorbed in the small bowel and pass to the large bowel (colon). Here they are fermented, giving rise to short-chain fatty acids. The colonic cells first choice of nutrients are these fatty acids. There is also evidence that a healthier type of bacterial growth is encouraged in your colon.

Why are polyols known to cause laxative issues?

When too much polyol passes into the colon, one get excess fermentation which produces gas and osmotic pressure which can cause diarrhoea.

In practice, consumers all over the world get used to this and usually know the number of sweets they can consume per day.

We recommend you start with two per day and gradually increase until your limit is achieved. Within two weeks of regular intake, many people can consume more. Usually the number of sweets ranges from three to 10 sweets spread out over the day.

The laxative tolerance also depends on your diet. Isomalt belongs to a group of carbohydrates called Low Digestible Carbohydrates, such as fibre, beans, onions, grains, etc. Our Western diet is lacking in these. Your individual tolerance will also depend on the mix of foods that you are eating.

Why are sugar free sweets more expensive? 

Isomalt is about four times as expensive as granulated sugar.

Type 2 diabetes is caused by a progressive loss of beta cell function in your pancreas, frequently on the background of insulin resistance. Usually there are both genetic (predisposition) and lifestyle factors, such as being overweight or having the metabolic syndrome.

Eating sugar free sweets will give you pleasure. But, will also reduce your insulin demand and prevent continuous blood glucose elevation from frequent snacking. Sugar free sweets are also lower in energy (calories).

Remember that sugar free sweets are no good in an emergency if you experience hypoglycaemia (low blood glucose).

Amajoya Sugar Free Collection

Our new sugar free filled sweets contain isomalt in the casing and maltitol in the cocoa crème filling. Our cocoa is natural, non-alkalised, meaning it is much higher in polyphenols. The vegetable fat in the cocoa crème is non-hydrogenated and comes from sustainable sources. The casing has dairy components i.e. low lactose milk powder and butter.

All the filled sweets contain only natural colourants and natural flavours. We are in the process of changing all our sweets to natural colourants which will be complete by year end.

Production takes place locally in Atlantis, Cape Town, with one of the most high-tech sugar free plants in the world. We are obsessed with quality and this is evident in our processes. We are British Retail Consortium (BRC) accredited which means we have global food safety certification.

All our raw materials pass through 0,2mm or 0,4mm inline wedge wire filters. We also pass all the sugar free sweets through two highly-sensitive metal detectors.

Our collection is available at leading retailers around the country including Checkers, Pick and Pay, Spar, Clicks, Dischem and the Alpha Pharmacy Group.

Visit amajoya.com

Because everyone deserves a little indulgence.

Avocado: packed with goodness

The #AvoExperts (Westfalia Fruit) tell us why avocado is good for you in so many ways.

Avocado is good for you

Many years ago, we were told to enjoy only small portions of avo in salad or on toast and to avoid eating it every day. Luckily, thanks to research, we know the nutritious fats in avo are great for a healthy lifestyle. Although, too much toast may still not be a good idea.

Benefit from nutritious choices

Healthy food choices can make a huge difference in weight management, reducing the risk of heart disease and stabilising blood glucose levels. The high levels of monounsaturated fats in fresh avo, avocado oil and guacamole are important for a healthy and balanced way of eating. This is something people with diabetes should consider daily to help control their blood glucose levels.

Avo in so many ways

Westfalia Fruit, also known as the #AvoExperts make it easy to include avocado in many delicious ways. Their range of avocado oils and guacamoles offers something for everyone.

Research shows that the healthy fats in avo make you feel fuller faster, limiting the temptation to overeat or constantly nibble on unhealthy foods.

Avocado is such a healthy and versatile ingredient that goes with, well, almost anything. Add it to any meal of the day or enjoy a small portion as part of a snack with fresh veggies, like cucumber and green beans, instead of reaching for the cookie jar.

Perfectly pressed

Did you know that avocado oil is naturally cholesterol-free, and you can replace any cooking oil with avocado oil? Yes, you can easily add these healthy fats to your meals, whether you drizzle, cook, roast, fry, bake and even braai. Owing to a high smoke point of 250°C, the health structure of the oil remains intact, even when heated.

Westfalia Avocado Oil is pressed from ripe, hand-selected Hass avos. It’s 100% pure avocado oil and the best pressing techniques are used to preserve the flavour, richness and natural avocado goodness.

There are four options in Westfalia’s range of avocado oil: Plain, Lemon, Garlic, and Butter. The plain oil’s neutral flavour makes it a great all-rounder, as it does not taste like avocado, as many assume.

The range of oils is suitable for vegans and vegetarians, certified Halaal and Kosher, and has approval from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of South Africa.

Find this proudly local product in leading supermarkets, available in 250ml bottles, and look out for the plain avocado oil also available in a 500ml bottle.

Cook up a storm with a dollop, slice and glug

Fresh avo or dollops of Westfalia Guacamole can make a meal more filling, without the need for another carbohydrate, like a slice of bread.

Have you tried a fried egg on slices of fresh avo, with tomato and rocket? Fry the egg in Westfalia Lemon Flavoured Avocado Oil for a lemony twist. Or top your favourite bowl of soup with cubes of avo or dollops of guacamole instead of bread or cream. Not only is this a healthier choice but it also adds extra flavour and creaminess to the soup.

Real avocado

Guacamole is so convenient and available all-year round. The Westfalia range of creamy guacamole is produced from the flesh of ripe Hass avocados and perfect to use in several tasty ways.

Each 200g tub contains about two whole avocados which are hand-scooped, resulting in a delicious guacamole with chunks of real avocado.

There are four flavours in the range to choose from: Plain, Spicy, Sweet Chilli Salsa and Biltong Flavoured. Dip meat balls, grilled chicken or steamed veggies into this real avocado goodness.

Be an #avoexpert too and enjoy the benefits of avocado as part of a healthy way of eating. Always remember to eat it in controlled portions to manage the amount of energy you have in one meal or snack.

Follow Westfalia for more #AVOEXPERTS

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Shape Diet Meal Replacement Shakes

Registered diabetes educator and dietitian, Tammy Jardine, tells us all we need to know about Shape Diet Meal Replacement Shakes.

Shape Diet Meal Replacement Shakes should be used as a meal replacement and not as a supplement (addition to a meal).

When meal planning in diabetes, the priority is the total carbohydrate content since this is the macro-nutrient that most affects blood glucose.

As a basic rule of thumb principle, it’s recommended to limit total carbohydrate in a meal to no more than 45g, and to no more than 10g in a snack for optimal blood glucose control.

Water vs milk

Shape shakes provide 21,8-24g per serving when made up with water. This means that a small fruit or a green salad could be eaten with the shake if you still feel hungry, without compromising the carbohydrate limits.

If it’s made with milk then the carbohydrate will increase to 32,8-35g per serving which will still fall within the carbohydrate limits.

Monitor your blood glucose

When substituting the shake for a meal, it’s good practice to monitor blood glucose to see what affect the shake has on your blood glucose.

Since the shake is relatively low in carbohydrates, it’s a good idea to have a healthy snack, like a small fruit, available in case your blood glucose level drops.

If you find that the shakes do decrease blood glucose then instead of having food to increase them, which would contradict your weight loss efforts, try mixing the shake with skim milk. Alternatively, speak to your healthcare provider about adjusting your diabetes medications.

Fibre content

The fibre content is a little low when considering that the requirements for fibre is 25g a day. One shake provides between 0,2g and 1,3g per serving. Therefore, it is not recommended that the shake provide the sole source of nutrition for a day. Include some fresh veg to boost your fibre intake.

Protein, fat and energy

Shape Diet Meal Replacement Shakes are high in protein which helps you feel satiated. It’s low in fat and not high in energy, at less than 845kJ per serving, which is why it will be beneficial for weight loss.

Any meal replacement shake should have added vitamins and mineral so that micro-nutrient requirements are met. No additional multivitamin supplements are necessary when replacing meals with fortified shakes.

Non-nutritive sweeteners

The non-nutritive sweeteners, sucralose (in the shakes), and sugar alcohols (xylitol) are safe to use for people living with diabetes. They don’t cause a rise in blood glucose levels.

There will always be controversy about sugar substitutes since they require processing to achieve final product. The debate is not whether it’s natural (since sucrose sugar is natural), but rather about the process and the chemicals required to process the product. In studies, there is no scientific reason to avoid sugar substitutes in diabetes.

Frequently asked questions

Can I replace all three meals and just have some fruit or salad to add fibre?

The shake can be used to replace one to all three meals a day. The reason for using a shake will determine how many meals are replaced and the length of time it will be used.

Some people may want to use the shake as a meal replacement to replace a meal that they don’t have time to prepare, like breakfast and/or lunch. Some will use it as an alternative to a meal for weight loss. The benefit being that it’s calorie controlled and fortified with added vitamins and minerals.

If three meals are replaced, it’s advised to add vegetables to the daily intake to ensure a better fibre intake. Replacing all meals would be considered a low-calorie diet. There is some evidence that a low-calorie diet for six-12 weeks can decrease weight and improve insulin resistance. These improvements have been shown to have a positive effect on diabetes since blood glucose levels improve. If this weight loss is maintained, it’s possible that the improvements in blood glucose can be more long-term and can even possibly ‘reverse’ diabetes. You should speak to a diabetes dietitian if this interests you. A low-calorie diet should be undertaken under the guidance of a dietitian.

Do I only use Shape until I have lost the required weight?

If the aim of using a meal replacement is for weight loss, then you can use the shake for the time that it takes to lose the weight. Then use the shake less frequently to transition to a normal diet and prevent weight regain.

Could you substitute two meals and still have one cooked meal a day? Or would that upset the plan?

There are various ways to use the shake. This is probably the most common way (as mentioned in the question) of using the shake. The cooked meal should still be well-balanced, high in vegetables with a portion of lean meat, high-fibre starch and a small amount of fat.

If I don’t need to lose weight, can I still use the shake for an easy convenient midday meal?

Yes, you can use the shake to replace a meal if you don’t have time to prepare a meal.


Tammy Jardine is a qualified diabetes educator and a registered dietitian. Living with diabetes for over 15 years means that she knows first-hand how difficult it can be to achieve and maintain optimal blood glucose control with good lifestyle habits. She believes that diabetes affects every person differently and takes the time to understand how it’s affecting the individual and to help them manage it effectively. With more than 20 years of experience working as a dietitian in the UK and SA, she has a passion for helping people live a better and happier life with good food. Tammy currently works from Wilgeheuwel hospital. Email: [email protected]

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