A Healthy Balance: Calories and Activity
Finding Your Energy Balance
Most of us know how much money we have in the bank, and the amount of gas we put into our cars and roughly how far it will take us. But when it comes to fueling our bodies, many people don’t think about how much they put into their bodies and what the body needs to stay healthy.
All calories count—big time. We all need calories to function—to breathe, keep our heart pumping and cells dividing. A calorie is a unit of energy. But eating too many calories—and not burning them off by being active enough—can lead to weight gain. That’s why it’s so important to find your energy balance. Read more »
Minding Your Portions
In the rush of everyday life, you may find it difficult to keep track of everything you eat and drink, especially if you tend to eat on the go. Carrying excess weight can increase your risk of heart disease and other health problems, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes. That’s why paying attention to and cutting back on portion sizes can be an important step in helping to control how many calories you consume as well as promote healthful eating. Of course, consuming a well-rounded balanced diet is just as important.
A portion is the amount of food—or drink—you choose to eat for any given meal or snack. It could be how much food you put on your plate at home, what’s given to you at a restaurant or even how food is packaged.
Unfortunately, portion sizes have grown (a lot) in the last several decades—“supersized” portions are often offered at relatively low prices. As a result, our reference point for what a healthy portion looks like may be vastly distorted. For example, today’s bagels or muffins are often at least two servings, yet we tend to eat the whole thing, thinking we’ve only had one serving.
At the same time, more Americans are eating their meals out of the home at restaurants where they can’t control the ingredients. The problem? Some entree portions are packed with an entire day’s worth of calories, fat and/or sodium. Read more »
Sugars and Sweeteners
We’re all guilty of giving into our “sweet tooth.” But we seem to be satisfying our cravings for something sweet more than ever—sometimes unknowingly.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Americans today consume nearly 20 percent more added sugar in their daily diet than they did 40 years ago. On average, we eat six cups of sugar a week—or a whopping 42.5 teaspoons of sugar a day! Read more »
Staying active and keeping your body moving has real benefits. Not only can being active improve your mental and physical health, it can also help you manage risk factors for heart disease and other chronic conditions, boost your energy level, and generally improve your quality of life.
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE: Take our quiz on active living
Research continues to show that getting regular exercise—whatever your fitness level—is one of the most important things you can do for your health. In fact, studies suggest that people who are physically active are less likely to develop heart disease than those who are inactive—even after accounting for smoking, alcohol use and diet. Read more »
CardioSmart is sponsored in part by The Coca-Cola Company