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    Sugar Alcohols

    You may see these reduced-calorie sweeteners (which include sorbitol, xylitol, and erythritol) in products labeled “no sugar added” or “sugar free.” They have fewer calories than “real” sugars, and they don't contain the kind of alcohol you drink.

    Your body doesn't absorb sugar alcohols completely. If you’re sticking to a certain amount of carbs each day, you can estimate that you'll absorb half of the sugar alcohol grams.

     

    Fiber

    You get fiber from whole grains, beans and other legumes, nuts, fruits and vegetables, and other plant foods. It helps you feel full and slows down the rise of blood sugar. If you have diabetes and are counting carbs, you can subtract this number from the “Total Carbohydrate.”

    Men should get 38 grams of fiber each day, 30 grams if you are over the age of 50. Women should get at least 25 grams of fiber per day, or 30 if you are on the DASH diet or have high blood pressure. Women over 50 need about 21 grams a day.Most people get only about half that amount of fiber. When adding more fiber to your diet, it's a good idea to do it gradually so your digestive system has time to adjust.

     

    Fat and Cholesterol

    Saturated and trans fats make heart disease more likely. Less than 10% of your total calories in a day should come from saturated fats. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are healthier choices, since they actually lower or don't affect cholesterol levels. Follow the guidelines your doctor gave you about how much and which types of fat are OK for you. A registered dietitian can give you more information and ideas for meals and snacks that fit those guidelines.

     

    Sodium

    Many people get far too much salt, or sodium. Most of it is in packaged foods and restaurant items. Limit salt to 2,300 milligrams (about 1 teaspoon) daily. If you have high blood pressure, kidney disease, or diabetes, or are African-American or older than 51, your daily limit is lower: 1,500 milligrams.

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