MSD and Persatuan Diabetes Malaysia (PDM) have just launched Celebrate – The Dessert Cookbook which consists of 12 timeless dessert recipes from the Malay, Chinese, Indian and Western cultures that are suitable for diabetics. The recipes are created by celebrity Chef Amy Beh with nutritional information provided by nutritionist, Ms Madhavi Rai.
I was present to photograph the dessert cookbook launch ceremony held at F Concept Dining by Buffalo Kitchen Restaurant at Bangsar at 2pm. The dessert cookbook is part of MSD’s continuous efforts to encourage diabetics to embrace life and live it to the fullest despite their health condition. This is the crux of MSD’s Living Well with Diabetes campaign which was established in 2007. The first in the series, Celebrate – The Lifestyle Cookbook, launched last year, comprised of 12 Malaysian and international recipes based on various festivities in Malaysia.
MSD has been working with PDM for years, in its bid to educate the public about exercising and the importance of eating healthy. Many people may find food defined as healthy to be supposedly unappealing. As such, MSD and PDM have decided to publish a cookbook that could provide the public with healthy options that are not only tasty, but also nutritious and suitable for the whole family.
According to Dr. Yeoh Boon Hock, medical director of MSD, diabetics need not give up their passion for food when in actual fact, it is about managing what they eat. Therefore, MSD was pleased to be able to launch this cookbook which is the second in the Celebrate series, together with Chef Amy Beh and nutritionist, Madhavi Rai.
“As chefs, we want to see people enjoy the food we prepare. It is their contentment in savouring our masterpieces that drives our passion to cook. With that, I was determined to take on the challenge to make desserts which may generally be sweet, suitable for those who need to be mindful of their blood sugar levels,” shared Chef Amy Beh.
Nutritionist, Ms Madhavi Rai, who is also a fitness instructor, explained that many assume that sweets and desserts are the greatest enemies. “Most do not realise that our body can also extract sugar from other food like breads, rice and fruits. So, while eating fruits may be good, eating too much can also spike blood sugar levels. It is important for diabetics to not only be physically active, but also be aware and conscious about what is considered good food and what can be potentially harmful,” clarified Ms Madhavi.
According to the recent National Health Morbidity Survey conducted in 2011, the prevalence of diabetes was surprisingly higher in rural compared to urban areas and there was an indication that there was an increase in diabetic cases by 31% over a duration of 5 years.
Mr K. S. Maniam, Assistant General Secretary of PDM and DP Resource, who was also present at the event, stressed that the increase especially in rural areas could be attributed to the sudden increase of undiagnosed cases. He went on to add that due to the severity of the situation, it was imperative for Malaysians to be mindful of their diet so that they can continue to lead healthy lives.
“We are, therefore, pleased to be able to continue our partnership with MSD with the support of Chef Amy Beh and Ms Madhavi Rai to remind the public that diabetes shouldn’t be a deterrent to enjoying life. In fact, diabetes can be well-controlled if they manage their lifestyles and what they eat,” said Mr Maniam. “So there is no reason why diabetics can’t have their cake and eat it too!” he added.
Present also at the launch to lend their support to this initiative were sponsors such as BOH Plantations Sdn Bhd, Juice Works Sdn Bhd, Cempaka Ate 3 Sdn Bhd (My Roti Shop), Vital Fleetpac Sdn Bhd (mYoga), Original Bootcamp Sdn Bhd, VISTA Laser Eye Centre Sdn Bhd, Yeo Hiap Seng (Malaysia) Berhad and Zazen Health Solutions Sdn Bhd.
5,000 copies of Celebrate – The Dessert Cookbook will be made available in all PDM offices, pharmacies, clinics, as well as diabetic and medical centres across Malaysia. The full list of PDM centres is available on PDM’s official website.
Aside from the launching of the book, media and guests were also treated to a cooking session by Chef Amy Beh, a fitness demonstration by Original Bootcamp Malaysia on exercises suitable for diabetics both young and old, and a talk on food selection by Ms Madhavi Rai.
“We hope that with our second edition, we can continue to encourage not just those with diabetes, but also the public in general to live well and celebrate their lives,” said Dr Yeoh.