CARDIOMETABOLIC | NUTRITION
The cardiometabolic food plan has 7 main features. Use these 7 'rules' as a guide when making food choices:
LOW GLYCEMIC IMPACT
Not all foods are created equal when it comes to their impact on blood sugar and insulin. Your blood sugar should remain constant, a 'rollercoaster' of glucose and insulin levels throughout your day is not healthy and result in the damage of blood vessels, blood cells, eyes, and kidneys. Chose foods with a low glycemic index (GI) score. This index ranks carbohydrate foods on a scale from 0 -100 based on 'how' quickly the foods raise blood sugar levels; with glucose (sugar) being at 100. Glycemic load (GL) is then calculated by multiplying a food's GI as a % of all carbs in a given serving. Low GL foods have a value of 10 or less.
HIGH IN FIBER
Fibre is found in whole, unprocessed foods that have a cholesterol-lowering effect. We recommend eating 35 grams of fibre daily. There are two types of fibre - soluble and insoluble. Soluble fibre slows down digestion which results in the slow release of glucose into the blood. It also traps toxins, cholesterol and other dietary fats in the GUT as well as providing 'food' for healthy bacteria in your digestive tract. Insoluble fibre acts like a big broom sweeping out debris from your intestine, helping to prevent constipation.
LOW IN SIMPLE SUGARS
It's important to avoid added sugars in your diet. These can be found in processed, refined foods. You may be surprised that this includes artificial sweeteners that can 'trick' the body and lead to blood sugar imbalances and continued cravings.
We advise that you consult a dietician from our PRACTITIONERS CIRCLE to assist you in determining 'how' many calories you should consume daily. This is particularly important if your BMI is over the recommended levels and you are overweight. Maintaining an ideal weight means that you'll 'untick' one of the major risk factors for cardiometabolic disease.
BALANCE BLOOD SUGAR
Your average meal should provide you with at least 4 hours of energy before you feel like eating again! If you feel hungry, shaky or experience 'brain fog' again after 1 hour of eating; it may mean that your meal was missing something such as a quality protein, fat or low GI carbs.
BALANCED QUALITY FATS
Dietary fats have developed a bad rap when it comes to heart disease! You may think that eating 'fat-free' foods as a healthy choice BUT often these foods often have added sugars and we now know that this results in increased blood fats. It's good to rather consume small amounts of high-quality, organic saturated fats like butter and coconut oil in small amounts rather than eat fat-free foods.
CONDITION SPECIFIC PHYTONUTRIENTS
Plant foods contain thousands of compounds that affect body function. While 5,000 to 10,000 of these compounds have been identified, it has been suggested that many more remain unknown. If you eat only a small amount of such phytonutrients every day: less than a teaspoon, which is a tiny amount
compared with the many grams of protein, carbohydrate, and fat typically
eaten, this has a healing and therapeutic effect in the body. Phytonutrients that contain the bitter compounds such as those in green leafy vegetables,
the resveratrol in grapes and red wine and the astringent compounds in
green tea appear to work favourably on pathways within the cell to create cardiometabolic balance. Certain phytonutrients can intervene to help with
blood sugar regulation, lower LDL-cholesterol, and even help to get blood pressure back into a healthier range. You can see now why we advocate that you "eat like a rainbow"!