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Sunday, February 25, 2024

CSMS TIPS: Know The Facts, Read the Label

By Chantale JimenezCSMS Staff WriterMost people are aware that the majority of packaged foods now have a Nutrition Facts label on the packaging. However, do you use it?  To be healthier, use this tool to help make smarter food choices quickly and easily.  Here are some tips:  Check the servings and the calories. Remember that if you double the servings you eat, you also are doubling the calories and nutrients. Count calories. Compare the number of calories to the nutrients you’re getting. Then, decide if the food is worth eating. Avoid sugarcoating it. Since sugars contribute calories with few, if any nutrients, look for foods and beverages low in added sugars. Some names for added sugars include glucose, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, maple syrup, and fructose. Know your facts. Look for foods low in saturated facts, trans fats, and cholesterol. Reduce sodium and increase potassium. Check the sodium in processed foods carefully. Also look for foods high in potassium, which counteracts some of sodium’s effects on blood pressure.Heart SmartThese richly colored globes of tangy sweetness deliver a lot more than flavor: They may help protect your heart. Grapes contain two beneficial flavonoids; proanthocyanin and catechins. These potent antioxidants may enhance cardiovascular health by assisting the body’s circulatory system, helping blood vessels maintain their elasticity, and helping reduce cell damage. Each individual grape can hold more than 1,000 different flavonoids! Grapes are also a good source of potassium, a nutrient with vital benefits for nerve and function.Exercise is the keyHow marvelous that one of the very best exercise you can do is also one of the simplest. Walking! No equipment or training is necessary, and just about anyone can do it. The rewards are many: a healthier cardiovascular system, stronger muscles, better endurance, and efficient calorie burning. Walking is a great energy enhancer, and it even helps lower blood glucose levels. To maintain fitness, try walking 20-30 minutes at least three times a week. This is one step worth taking!

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