Diet & Exercise are Important for Good Health
Keeping an eye on the foods we eat and staying active every day can be the key to a long and healthy life. Here are a few tips from the makers of SUGARDOWN®. A healthy diet consists of a combination of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, but there is no one “perfect” diet or meal plan that works for everyone.
Exercise can be beneficial to just about everyone. For people interested in maintaining healthy weight and blood sugar levels, exercise can be especially important. Exercise helps to increase “insulin sensitivity.” This means that physical activity helps the cells in your body use available blood sugar (glucose) for energy.
It is wise to speak with your doctor or nutritionist before starting a diet or exercise program.
SUGARDOWN® is committed to helping you reach your health goals
Diet and Carbohydrates
Foods like bread, cereals, pasta, potatoes and rice are in fact sugars in the form of complex carbohydrates. These large sugars, or polysaccharides, are broken down into smaller sugars like glucose. Glucose is absorbed into the system during digestion and used as energy or stored as fat for later use. Added sugar from sugar-sweetened beverages, candy and pastry products have also become a source of extra sugar in the diet of most Americans. Making smart food and beverage choices can make the difference in staying healthy and managing weight. SugarDown® can help.
It is generally accepted that a diet overloaded in starches and carbohydrates can lead to weight gain, obesity and a number of health problems. Adding SUGARDOWN to your diet is a Smart Glycemic Health choice, since it helps you reduce the amount of sugar entering your system after eating high carb foods and beverages.
Smart Glycemic Health
Smart Glycemic Health is about making smart lifestyle choices as they relate to food and activity. “Glycemic” means relating to the blood. Our circulatory system is designed to carry nutrients, oxygen and other components throughout our body. It helps us fight disease and regulate numerous organs and bodily functions. How we treat that delicate system can mean the difference between a life of vitality and one of fatigue and illness.
Here are two common Smart Glycemic Health ways of managing carbs when planning and preparing meals and choosing snacks and beverages.
Use “Carb Choices” in your meal plans is a relatively easy way to count carbohydrates. One carb choice equals 15 grams of carbohydrate By way of comparison, one slice of bread or 1/2 cup of cooked pasta is usually about 1 carb choice. Aim for 3 to 4 carb choices per regular meal and 1 to 2 carb choices for snacks.
Glycemic Index (GI)
The glycemic index, (GI) provides a measure of how quickly blood sugar levels rise after eating a particular type of food. The effects that different foods have on blood sugar levels vary considerably. A low-GI food will release glucose more slowly and steadily, which leads to more normal blood sugar level. A high-GI food causes a more rapid rise in blood glucose levels.
Examples of foods with a low GI include dried beans and legumes (like kidney beans and lentils), all non-starchy vegetables, some starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes, most fruit, and many whole-grain breads and cereals (like barley, whole-wheat bread, rye bread, and all-bran cereal). Use the glycemic index or GI to help control carbohydrate intake.
Examples of foods with a high GI include white bread, bagels, corn flakes, puffed rice, bran flakes, instant oatmeal, short-grain white rice, rice pasta, macaroni and cheese from mix, russet potato, pumpkin, pretzels, rice cakes, popcorn, saltine crackers, melons, and pineapple.
Healthy meal planning using the GI method involves choosing foods that have a low or medium GI. If eating a food with a high GI, you can reduce the amount of that portion of the meal, and combine it with low GI foods to help balance the meal.
It doesn’t matter whether or not you’ve been active in the past. Every day is a new opportunity to start fresh! Please check with your doctor before changing your level of physical activity.
An average person walks about 3 miles per hour, or one mile in 20 minutes. Setting goals to get out each day is helpful. There are many phone apps that will help you to stay on track with activity goals.
Here are some additional potential benefits of exercise:
- Lowers blood pressure and cholesterol
- Lowers risk for heart disease and stroke
- Burns calories to help in weight loss or maintaining weight
- Increases energy
- Promotes better sleep
- Relieves stress
- Strengthens the heart and improves blood circulation
- Strengthens muscles and bones
- Keeps joints flexible