Friday, July 8, 2016

Guardian Launches Mixed Grains & Oats 30+ To Help Malaysians

Malaysia and Malaysians are in the midst of a chronic health crisis with a whopping 9.6 million people have high blood cholesterol level, 6.1 million having hypertension and 3.5 million Malaysians having diabetes and more than 100,000 people suffering from cancer each year, with these being just the reported numbers. 

The National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS) 2015 that was released recently shows that the rise in non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as elevated cholesterol levels, diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease is closely linked to unhealthy behaviours towards food and exercise. After the basic health checks on my blood glucose of 4.86 and blood pressure of 128, both pharmacists asked to reveal the secret of my good health, I honestly replied that I stay healthy by living a stress-free life, exercise regularly, drink sufficient water, take Cellfood & healthy supplements with more veges and fruits intake, pampering myself with aroma essential oil to balance the Yin & Yang total wellness of my body, mind & soul and stay happy all the time.

It is believed that more than half of those living with NCDs like diabetes and high cholesterol level were not even aware of their health problemShockingly the Health Ministry survey showed that 94% of Malaysian adults do not eat enough fresh fruits and vegetables, when fibre has been shown to be essential to a healthy balanced diet.

The old adage of ‘prevention is better than cure’ still rings true, and a fibre rich diet may hold the key in prevention as well as managing some of the health problems. Attention to consumer nutrition and well-being is a core endeavour at Guardian, the largest pharmacy, health and beauty retail chain in Malaysia.

In response to the worrying Malaysian health profile, Guardian has introduced the functional,  convenient and affordably priced Guardian Mixed Grains & Oats 30+ to help Malaysians get the fibre they need for better health. Guardian Mixed Grains & Oats 30+ is a nutrition and fibre-rich combination of imported Swedish oat bran powder that has more than 30% oat beta-glucan. 

The main reason I attended this health event is to make sure Rambo remember to take this new Mixed Grains & Oats 30+ to keep him healthy and happy naturally every morning. And I'm glad I came as I get to learn so much more about health, beauty and wellness tips from this fruitful event. In fact, I need to remind Rambo everyday he needs to stay healthy only then he can afford to dream to be wealthy. No health, no wealth that's for sure!

Beta-glucan is a type of soluble fibre that may help reduce blood cholesterol levels and stabilise blood sugar levels. Not bad after mixing it with fruits and vegetables, tried a few of it and all at once feeling healthy already after a few cups of these healthy oat drinks. 

The product is a trans-fat free food, without colouring and suitable for vegetarians. It dissolves  in luke-warm water for a fibre-rich drink with a pleasing roasted grain taste that helps to fill you up for longer.

Each serving contains more than 30% oat beta-glucan. High blood cholesterol is one of the risk factors for heart disease, although it does not show any symptoms. Many people with high blood cholesterol are unaware that their cholesterol level is too highThe amount of oat beta-glucan (soluble fibre) recommended for the cholesterol lowering effect is 3gm per day.

Ms. Elyse Lee, Senior Regional Business Manager, Group Health & Beauty Private Label, The Dairy Farm Group said, “High blood cholesterol afflicts almost half of Malaysians adults, which is worrying. Guardian Malaysia looked at what we could towards helping bring about positive change. This lead us to beta-glucan that has been proven to reduce cholesterol. It also alerted us to the need for more fibre in daily diets for better health. Guardian Mixed Grains & Oats 30+ easily fits into one's daily routine with convenience and affordability".

 “With the Guardian Mixed Grains & Oats 30+, consumers have the benefits of beta-glucan from oats, chia seeds, barley and brown rice for their general well-being. Consumers will appreciate that it is priced within reach for a high quality, trusted and certified oat bran with nutritious mixed grain powder for their daily dietary needs,” Ms. Lee.

It can also be used in smoothies, beverages, as a topping for salads and yoghurt, as a coating for fried and roasted meats and vegetables as well as a thickener in soup and porridge, without losing its nutritional value and ensuring better daily fibre intake. Now you can consume the required amount of beta-glucan with Guardian Mixed Grains & Oats 30+ in a easy way to address a major health concern - high cholesterol level.

Ms. Indra Balaratnam, Founder and Consultant Dietitian, The Food Expert Clinic shared the benefits of barley, oats, chia seeds, and brown rice, as well as presenting four simple recipes that can also work as a healthier option of their food intake and need to include more fiber in their diet. Ms Indra explained some of Malaysians’ favourite dishes such as roti canai, nasi lemak and char koay teow were high in calories while being low in fibre. She suggested finding creative ways to get a healthier intake of calories.

“Fibre is an integral but often overlooked part of a healthy diet. Current lifestyles that are heavy on highly processed foods, and low on exercise are partly to blame for the state of health in Malaysia. As a dietitian, I recommend a balanced diet that consist of more whole foods as it retains more of its natural nutrients and fiber. It is estimated that majority of adult Malaysians, at best only, manage to meet half of the Ministry of Health recommended daily dietary fiber intake of 25 grams per day for good health. Moreover, it is estimated up to 94% of adults do not get their recommended daily allowance of fruit and vegetables, which are a food source of important nutrients and dietary fiber. So, a good starting point to eating healthier  would be to consume more fibre-rich foods, such as wholegrains, fruit, vegetables, legumes, beans, nuts and seeds” Ms Indra said.

“Studies have shown that fibre plays a positive role in stabilising blood sugar levels which can be of help to those with pre-diabetes or diabetes. It is beneficial in weight management for the feeling of fullness it provides. And there is scientific backing to what our mothers advised that more fibre would help in regulating bowel movement. Constipation has been linked to colon cancer, so the need for fibre is clear,” she added.

“Many local favorites are high in calories and fat. You can still indulge once a week, but a balanced,  fibre-dense meal will have a more positive impact on overall health. While oat bran powder is healthful, we should resist the temptation to add sugar to it. A healthier approach is to add fresh fruit, yoghurt, low fat milk, unsweetened cocoa or unsweetened fruit juices. Find recipes that work within your taste, available time  and your budget,” she advised.

The National Stroke Association of Malaysia (NASAM) has two objectives.  One is to provide rehab services to stroke survivors so that they can return to as normal a life as possible and the other objective is to promote public awareness that stroke is a preventable disease.  NASAM  has more than 5,000 members with 600 of them coming for rehab therapy on a daily basis throughout all our nine centres.

High cholesterol is  one of the risk factors for stroke with others being hypertension, diabetes, irregular heart beat,  physical  inactivity, obesity, smoking and high alcohol intake. Guardian will be contributing RM 10,000 worth of Guardian Mixed Grains & Oats 30+ to the members of NASAM as a contribution towards helping them in controlling high blood cholesterol levels.

According to Sylvia Chong, General Manager of NASAM, high incidence of heightened blood cholesterol levels among Malaysians, with 1 out of every 2 persons affected,  is cause for concern. “While the heightened cholesterol levels in our population could be due to many factors, some of which we can control through our diet to lower cholesterol. We appreciate that Guardian is assisting our members to achieve a healthier lifestyle, and aid them in their journey of recovery, while helping us in raising awareness of stroke,” said  Sylvia Chong.

Guardian Mixed Grains & Oats 30+ is available nationwide at all Guardian outlets and e-store at The recommended retail price of Guardian Mixed Grains & Oats 30+ (500g) is RM 49.90. In conjunction with the launch, Guardian Mixed Grains & Oats 30+ (500g) will be retailing at a promo price of RM42.41per tin from 23rd June to  27th July 2016. Collect six plastic lids with ‘Guardian Nutrient Function’ stickers to redeem one free tin of Guardian Mixed Grains & Oats 30+ (500g), terms and conditions apply. Offer valid until 28th September 2016.

Background Information on Mixed Grains & Oats 30+ Ingredients
Benefits of Barley 
Barley is enriched with soluble fibre called beta glucan which could be found
 in the outer layers of the grain. Beta glucan helps to lower cholesterol by binding to bile acids and removing them from the body via the feces. Bile acids are produced by the liver from cholesterol. When they are excreted along with barley's fibre, the liver must replenish bile acids and uses up more cholesterol, thus lowering the amount of cholesterol in circulation[14].

Barley's fibre, potassium, folate and vitamin B6 content, coupled with its low of cholesterol -  all these contents support a healthy heart. Barley is an excellent source of fibre, which helps lower the total amount of cholesterol in the blood.

Vitamin B6 and folate, both present in barley, prevent the buildup of a compound known as homocysteine. When excessive amounts of homocysteine accumulate in the body, it can damage blood vessels and lead to heart problems.

Benefits of Oats 
Beta-glucan can be found in oats as well. According to studies, beta-glucan has beneficial effects in diabetes as well. Type 2 diabetic patients who are given foods high in this type of oat fibre or given oatmeal or oat bran rich foods experienced much lower rises in blood sugar compared to those who were given white rice or bread.

Kick start your day with a blood sugar stabilizing food such as oats could help you to control blood sugar levels for rest of the day.
Oats and other whole grains are enriched with magnesium, a mineral that plays a co-factor role for more than 300 enzymes, including enzymes in insulin secretion.

Benefits of Chia Seeds 
Chia seeds are 40% fibre, by weight. This makes them one of the best sources of fibre in the world.

Because of its all the fibre in form, chia seeds can absorb up to 10-12 times their weight in water, becoming gel-like and expanding in your stomach. This should increase your fullness, slow absorption of your food and reduce your temptation to consume more calories.

Fibre also feeds the friendly bacteria in the intestine, which is important because keeping your gut bugs well fed is imperative for health. Chia seeds are high in quality protein, much higher than any plant foods. Protein is the most weight loss friendly nutrient that could reduce your appetite and cravings to prevent obesity.

Benefits of Brown Rice 
The process that produces brown rice removes only the outermost layer without damaging to its nutritional value inside.

Brown rice’s high magnesium content is good for your heart. Magnesium is an important mineral for regulating blood pressure and offsetting sodium in the body. Furthermore, brown rice is abundant in the phytonutrient plant lignans, which may protect against various diseases including heart disease. 

The whole grain of brown rice is a carbohydrate that, studies show, may actually help you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. 

A Ramadan dinner buffet after the healthy event. Picture courtesy from Elana Khong.

About Guardian Malaysia
From a 200-sqft pharmaceutical retail outlet catering to the expatriate community to emerging as the leading Pharmacy, Health and Beauty retail chain in Malaysia, Guardian now operates a chain of over 400 stores, providing unrivalled variety of Pharmaceutical, Health and Beauty products to more than 2.5 million Malaysian customers a month, across the country.

Guardian’s commitment to its customers’ needs is also reflected in a dedicated team of pharmacists, who impart professional advice and consultation to customers. Committed to strong corporate governance, which upholds responsible and ethical dispensing at all times.

Guardian is also an advocate of corporate philanthropy and believes in giving back to the community. Guardian celebrates four decades of success by making a pledge to contribute to worthy causes by getting involved in the efforts that help to provide and promote the care, development and well-being of the local communities and supporting programs that are dedicated towards those in need namely women & children.

About Dairy Farm
Dairy Farm is a leading pan-Asian retailer. At 31st December 2015, the Group and its associates and joint ventures operated over 6,500 outlets and employed over 180,000 people. It had total annual sales in 2015 exceeding US$17 billion.

The Group aims to meet the changing needs of Asian consumers by offering the leading brands, a pleasant retail experience and great value, all provided through responsible operations supported by reliable and trusted supply chains.

The Group operates under a number of well-known brands across four divisions. The principle brands are Food: Supermarkets like Wellcome in Hong Kong, Taiwan and the Philippines, Yonghui in mainland China, Cold Storage in Singapore and Malaysia, Giant in Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore, Hero in Indonesia; Hypermarkets – Giant in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei and Vietnam, Yonghui in mainland China; Convenience stores – 7-Eleven in Hong Kong, Singapore, Southern China and Macau; Health and Beauty like Mannings in Greater China, Guardian in the rest of Asia and Rose Pharmacy in the Philippines; Home Furnishings like IKEA in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Indonesia, and Restaurants like Maxim’s in Hong Kong, mainland China and Vietnam.

Dairy Farm International Holdings Limited is incorporated in Bermuda and has a standard listing on the London Stock Exchange as its primary listing, with secondary listings in Bermuda and Singapore. The Group’s businesses are managed from Hong Kong by Dairy Farm Management Services Limited through its regional offices. Dairy Farm is a member of the Jardine Matheson Group.

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