Get friendly with fibre
Fibre is a type of carbohydrate that our bodies have difficulty digesting. Because of this, foods that are high in fibre can help manage blood glucose levels. Fibre is also very filling. Eating a high fibre meal can keep you satisfied longer, which is great when you are watching your weight! Excellent high fibre choices are legumes (beans and lentils), cold and hot cereals made with bran, whole grains, vegetables and fruit. Aim for 25-30 grams of fibre everyday.
Learn the Glycemic Index (GI)
The GI is a scale that ranks carbohydrate-rich foods by how much they raise blood glucose levels. Foods with a low GI (55 or less) raise blood glucose levels more slowly than foods with a higher GI. Low GI foods may also help control cholesterol, lower the risk of heart disease and curb your appetite. Some low GI foods are pumpernickel, whole wheat and rye breads, oatmeal, sweet potato, lentils and beans. Medium GI foods are brown rice, couscous, popcorn and digestive biscuits. Aim to eat one low GI food at every meal.
Be aware of what you are eating
Avoid temptation! That muffin with your morning coffee or that sugary afternoon pick-me-up can quickly raise your blood glucose while slowly increasing your waistline. Save your indulgences for special occasions! When you have a long day ahead of you, plan to bring healthy snacks (like vegetable sticks or cheese and high fibre crackers) and pack a lunch the night before. Remember, with moderation and portion control, all foods can fit into a Beyond the Basics® meal plan.
Learn how to read labels
Are you ever confused about foods that say they are “low-fat”, “fat-free”, “high in fibre” or “sugar-free”? Learning to read the Nutrition Facts Panel on a product can provide you with a lot of important information. For instance, foods that are “low-fat” may still be high in sugar. So, pay close attention to serving size, calories, fat, carbohydrates, sugars and fibre as these details can help you make good choices. For more information on label reading visit latest on labels or the CDA’s Healthy Eating is in Store for You website.
What’s the difference between a Portion Size and a Serving Size?
The serving size is what’s listed on the Nutrition Facts Panel. Serving size is also how Health Canada provides Food Guide recommendations and is the amount of food used for listing the information given in the Nutrition Facts Panel. The portion size is the amount of food that you actually put on your plate. This may be more or less than what the recommended serving size is. Be aware of portion sizes when plating meals because calories, carbohydrates and fat can really add up! Always adjust nutrition information to the portion size you are eating.