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Cardiometabolic – what? And why is it important?

According to this recent article from Tuft’s University School of Nutrition, less than 7% of Americans have “optimal levels” of Cardiometabolic health. Cardiometabolic does not exactly roll off the tongue and most probably don’t know what it is. But they are talking about five key measurements of overall health:

  • Blood pressure
  • Blood sugar
  • Blood cholesterol
  • Adiposity (overweight and obesity)
  • Presence or absence of cardiovascular disease (heart attack, stroke, etc.)

In 2017-18, only 6.8 percent of U.S. adults had “optimal levels” of all five components. That means 93% of us are not in optimal health. Yikes!

All five of the components of cardiometabolic health are lifestyle and diet related. That means they are not diseases a person can “catch” like the flu. They build up in the body over time due to things like lack of exercise, smoking and overconsumption of salt and sugar. According to the study’s lead author, Meghan O’Hearn, “We need a complete overhaul of our health-care system, food system, and built environment, because this is a crisis for everyone, not just one segment of the population.”

While I wasn’t familiar with the term “cardiometabolic health” when I created Yumbini, I did design it to improve our world by helping the many people struggling with these problems. Here’s how:

  • Salt: Eating too much salt is associated with high blood pressure and stroke. Yumbini contains a moderate amount of salt, but lots of spices for plenty of flavor, so you won’t “overdo it”, like you can with something salty like instant ramen. Check out our product page for more information on salt content, and read this blog about the advantages of adding salt at the table, not in the kitchen.
  • Sugar: Eating too much sugar is associated with diabetes and obesity. Yumbini does not contain any added sugar (or artificial sweeteners). The Cowboy BBQ flavor is mildly sweetened using only dried apples.
  • Fiber: Eating more fiber is linked to lower body weight, and lower risks of cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Fortunately Yumbini has lots of fiber – as much as 32% of what you need for a whole day! Fiber in your diet becomes food for the microorganisms that live in your gut. And keeping your gut healthy, helps keep you healthy! Read more about the advantages of fiber here.
  • Blood Sugar: While Yumbini is fairly high in carbohydrates, our testing indicates that the high levels of protein and fiber from those fantastic beans prevents major spikes in blood sugar. While everyone’s body is different, we think Yumbini will give you a feeling of sustained energy, unlike the quick spike you may get with less substantial foods.
  • Feeling full: Just like with blood sugar, all the fiber and protein in Yumbini will keep you full and fueled for a long time. This helps you control your weight. Also, Yumbini is friend to forgotten vegetables everywhere, helping your enjoy more vegetables – the best “fill up with not a lot of calories” foods out there. Take a look at our many recipe ideas.
  • 100% Plant Based: Beans and lentils are well known for their mild effect on blood sugar. They are even known to control blood sugar at subsequent meals, hours after they are eaten. Besides that, a plant-based diet is associated with less cardiometabolic disease, including heart disease, high cholesterol and obesity.

Lastly, to optimize your cardiometabolic health, please be sure to enjoy Yumbini with plenty of water, or unsweetened tea or coffee (no soda!). And try to get a little bit of exercise every day – a walk around the block can really add up if you do it often. Together with Yumbini, you can be on your way to optimal health!

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