Category: Coaches Education



BY: Elizda Hanekom /   DATE: April 2019



Nothing says home more than the smell of bread, wouldn’t you agree? Growing up bread made up many memorable meals for me. School lunchboxes always included some sort of sandwich and bread always made an appearance at birthday parties or school sporting events. Bread is also the perfect accompaniment when hosting friends and families. Think “braai broodjie” or garlic loaves at social gatherings. You can literally have bread anytime of the day- some families even use it in desserts such as bread pudding. Yet, there is scepticism around the nutritional benefits of bread. Is bread healthy? Can eating bread make me fat? Let’s take a closer look.


The history of bread

Bread, in all its various shapes and forms, is the most widely consumed food in the world. Not only is it an important source of carbohydrates, it’s also transportable and compact. This helps to explain why it has been a vital part of our diet for thousands of years. In fact, recent research has showed that humans started baking bread at least 30,000 years ago1,2.


Prehistoric man had already started mixing water and grains to make gruel, so it was a small step to start cooking this mixture into a solid form by frying it on stones1. Humanity then went from cooking prehistoric flatbreads to fluffy, grocery loafs following three primary innovations namely leavening, refined grains and mechanized slicing1. The bread aisle has so many options now and we as consumers have the difficult task of making sure we choose the right bread options for our families.


Is bread healthy?

Breads are made from different cereal grains namely wheat, rye and oats. There are various others too. Its nutritional content is therefore largely dependant on the content of the grains2. It is also dependant on the type of flour used such as white or wholemeal flour and whether other ingredients have been added like fats or seeds2,3. More than half of our daily energy requirements should come from carbohydrates, therefore bread together with other starches make up a major component of a healthy diet. Bread also contains protein and small amounts of fats unless additional fats are added during the production period.  Cereal grains like those found in bread are rich in dietary fibre and provide essential micronutrients, including vitamins and minerals2,3.


Some healthy tips when choosing bread

By choosing the right type of breads and eating it at the correct portions, bread can most certainly be included as part of a healthy, balanced diet. So, when standing in the bread section next, make sure you choose:

  • Brown or whole-wheat options that are high in fibre- this is great for everyday digestive health.
  • Look out for claims that say Low GI – this means that the bread will provide you with slow-sustained energy, meaning you will be more productive, and this will also help keep you fuller for longer.
  • High in protein claim, research has shown that protein keeps you fuller for longer and helps decrease appetite.
  • Breads containing added vitamins, minerals. If it contains omega-3 that’s an added win.


Can bread make me fat?

A common belief is that carbohydrates or starchy foods, including bread, cause weight gain. This belief stems from the increasingly popularity of diets that are low in carbohydrates and high in protein as well as all the various types of banting diets. Most research has shown that these diets are only successful for short-term weight loss3. However, the weight loss is from the overall reduction in energy intake, rather than the avoidance of carbohydrates per se. So, instead of cutting out carbohydrates, you should look at choosing the right carbohydrates (low GI, high fibre), eating the correct portions and perhaps making a few other alterations.


When looking at protein, studies have also shown that a diet high in protein assists with weight management by regulating certain hormones that increases levels of satiety3-5. Satiety is the feeling of fullness and the suppression of hunger for a period, after a meal is ingested. Feelings of satiety can influence how much and how soon we eat next. Protein also helps reduce cravings and lowers the GI of foods4. So, when trying to watch your waistline look out for breads that are high in protein instead of just cutting out bread for good.



FUTURELIFE®, a functional food company has launched an exciting new range of breads to suit every consumer’s needs. This is South Africa’s first and only NON-GMO, vegan friendly range of breads, where you have various options:

  • FUTURELIFE® High Protein Brown Bread
    • This high Protein Bread is Low GI, High in Fibre and contains quality grains in a unique formulation that is a source of Omega-3.
  • FUTURELIFE® High Protein Oats & Honey Flavoured Brown Bread
    • This Low GI bread combines whole oat grains with the goodness of our NON-GMO ingredients, scientifically formulated to be High in Protein and Fibre. With a touch of honey flavour, this bread is wholesome and delicious.
  • FUTURELIFE® High Protein Ancient Grain Brown Bread
    • This bread is Low GI, High in Fibre, and nutritionally dense, containing the goodness from a carefully selected blend of 3 ancient grains, 2 seeds and rolled oats all in a delicious, High Protein, NON-GMO brown bread.



So, when doubting bread next remember that a healthy diet is dependent on numerous daily choices. Making nutritious bread choices is only one part of following a healthy lifestyle. By choosing FUTURELIFE® High Protein Breads you have made the smart choice for yourself and your family as everything in life has changed, why hasn’t your bread?



  1. Lohman, S. (2018, August 22). History. Retrieved from A Brief History of Bread:
  2. Eufic. (2014, December 8). Retrieved from Bread: A nutritious staple:
  3. Mahan, L., Escott-Stump, S., & Raymond, J. (2012). Krause’s Food & the Nutrition Care Process 13th Edition.
  4. British Nutrition Foundation. (n.d.). Retrieved from Understanding satiety: feeling full after a meal:
  5. Gunnars, K. (2017, May 29). Healthline. Retrieved from How Protein Can Help You Lose Weight Naturally:



WRITTEN BY: Angela Leach 

Probiotics are defined by the World Health Organization as “live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host”1. They are the “good guys”: good bacteria that promote optimal gut health, leading to improved well-being. Sportsmen and women can benefit from introducing probiotics into their diet or supplement regime, particularly if they frequently experience digestive disturbances, recurrent infection or poor recovery. But how?


Improved immunity is arguably the most beneficial effect that probiotics confer to sports people because an infection essentially means no training or worse yet, no competing!

Ever noticed that some very fit people get sick so much more often than the “average joe”? Well this is due to the fact that excessive training puts strain on the body, resulting in the release of stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol and a resultant suppressed immune system7.

Probiotics can help to combat this by strengthening the body’s inherent defences through an increase in the activity of immune cells and proteins housed within the gut8,9 which results in decreased duration and severity of various infections10,11.


Physical exercise results in an increase in free radical production2, meaning that levels of circulating free radicals are increased after prolonged exercise.

The aim around recovery nutrition is to return the body to its pre-exercise state. Probiotics can assist this process by improving the absorption of various micro and macro nutrients including antioxidants which have the ability to counteract the effects of free radicals.

Probiotics also improve absorption of amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, which play an important role in repairing muscles3,4. With improved protein absorption, you would need to consume a smaller amount of protein to experience the same benefits as somebody not taking in the probiotics which offers a financial benefit5. Of particular interest is the fact that studies are showing probiotics to improve leucine absorption by 23% 6. Leucine is a branched chain amino acid well known for its beneficial effects in protein synthesis.


Gut health and probiotics are synonymous, so as you may imagine, probiotics can prevent those very uncomfortable and urgent “toilet breaks” during exercise.

This condition is referred to as “leaky gut syndrome” and is often experienced by endurance athletes, particularly runners. Not only can it cause a lot of discomfort for an athlete, but it may also mean a significant increase in your race time.

Leaky gut, occurs because cells lining the intestinal walls pull apart during exercise, causing a leak into the bloodstream. Probiotics put into place various mechanisms which help to significantly reduce the chance of leakage occurring by reinforcing the intestinal wall, reducing the likelihood of GI distress during exercise11,12.


While live bacteria may not be the most obvious sports supplement to pop to mind, it may be one of the most helpful, especially if you are prone to infection or tummy complaints.






 Walk through the aisles of a sports nutrition retailer and you could very easily be forgiven for thinking that proper sports nutrition needs to cost A LOT of money.  The truth is that you can reach all of your sports nutrition requirements with relatively inexpensive foods that you can purchase at your local grocery store and of course FUTURELIFE® is always there to lend a helping hand.

My personal challenge in writing this article is to show you that you can easily get everything you need to fuel for and recover from 3 hours of intense exercise for under R50, as opposed to the hundreds that sports nutrition retailers would have us believe. How is it done?


The meal you choose before you begin your exercise plays a very important role in making sure that you are properly fuelled and that any discomfort is minimised during exercise.

In previous articles I have covered the what, when and how of pre-endurance nutrition. Below are 4 cost-effective meal options that I picked. Portion sizes are chosen to fulfil the requirements of a 60kg athlete but can easily be adapted.

Food choice Grams of carbohydrates/protein Price
75g FUTURELIFE® Smart food™ + 1 large banana (136g) 63g/ 15g R7.62
75g FUTURELIFE® Smart Oats® + 100g low-fat sweetened yoghurt 65g/10g R7.75
3 slices of FUTURELIFE® Smart  Bread™  with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter (32g) and 1 tablespoons of Jam (20g) 65g/20.5g R5.10
50g  FUTURELIFE® Smart food™ + 1 cup low fat milk and 200g fruit salad 61g/17g R9.90



During exercise, nutrition is very important for sessions exceeding 60-90 minutes Glycogen (energy) stores are quickly depleted and need to be replaced in order to keep you performing at your best. 30-60g of easily digested carbohydrates per hour should do the trick for this athlete. Exactly how much you would need within the 30-60g range will depend on the intensity of exercise among other things. Below are some great options, as well as the amount of carbohydrates it would provide in total and per hour for the 3 hours.


Food choice Grams carbohydrate/ Grams per hour Price
FUTURELIFE® High Energy Smartbar™ + 75g jelly sweets + 500ml sports drink 129g/43g R27.20
75g jelly sweets + 500ml sports drink 107/36g R19.50
2 slices of white FUTURELIFE® Smart Bread™ with 2 tablespoons of honey + 1l cordial (already diluted with water at ratio 1:3) 90g/30g R9.45
FUTURELIFE® High Energy Smartbar™ +1l cordial (already diluted with water at ratio 1:3)+ 75g nougat 106/35g R23.15


Nutrition after exercise should be rich in carbohydrates to refuel energy stores and contain some lean protein to repair muscles. The carbohydrate to protein ratio should be around 3-4:1. Fluids and electrolytes are also essential to rehydrate the body. Here are some very simple and cost-effective options that will help you to reach these goals. For more information on the benefits of FUTURELIFE® Smart Drink™ in sports recovery visit:

Food choice Grams of carbohydrates/protein Price
75g FUTURELIFE® HIGH PROTEIN Smart food™ + 1 large banana (136g)+ 500ml cordial (already diluted with water at ratio 1:3) 72g/ 24g R14.85
250ml FUTURELIFE® Smart Drink™ with 2 slices of FUTURELIFE® Smart Brown Bread and 2 tablespoons of peanut butter and 1 tablespoon of honey. 75.5g/25.8g R19.85
Open sandwich: 2 slices FUTURELIFE® Smart Bread™ with 2 boiled eggs and lite mayo + 150g sweetened fruit yoghurt. 54.5g/24.4g R9.80
FUTURELIFE® HIGH PROTEIN Smart food™ Muscle fuel smoothie: 65g/28g R16.1


Using these wallet-friendly options pre, during and after your 3 hours of exercise will cost you a minimum of R24.35 and a maximum of R56.96 while giving you everything you need to be everything you want to be.

Whey’ing up your options




When it comes to proteins in sport, is whey as good as it gets? Whey is great, but did you know that there are many other protein alternatives also offering an array of benefits. In this article I’ll explore the key benefits of three of the most popular options (whey, soya and casein) as well as the alternative option of a blend, to help you decide which will be best for your specific requirements. There are also many lesser-known protein sources emerging which will be covered in an upcoming article.


Whey, along with casein, is a protein naturally found in milk, making it unsuitable for vegans or someone with a milk protein allergy. It is a fast-release protein with a very high bioavailability, meaning that it is quickly and easily digested to be available and absorbed by the body. This characteristic makes it ideal for muscle repair immediately following exercise. It also has a more complete amino acid profile when compared to its sister protein, casein. Whey protein contains all of the essential amino acids, which cannot be produced by the body and should therefore be taken in by the diet1. It is also rich in branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), which, among other benefits, prevent protein breakdown and stimulate muscle protein synthesis.

Whey can be purchased in concentrate, isolate or hydrolysate form. Whey protein concentrate contains between 30-90% protein (depending on the level of concentration) alongside low levels of fat and carbohydrates. Isolates undergo further processing to remove the other macronutrients and contain a minimum of 90% protein. Hydrolysates are partly hydrolysed (digested) proteins making them even more easily available to the body 2.


Soya is a plant-based complete protein making it a suitable protein source for vegans. Soya has a high biological value, containing all of the essential amino acids3. It is also rich in micronutrients and has health benefits that include reduced risk of heart disease and certain cancers4. Soya has a slower digestion rate to whey, which may be beneficial in some instances as it allows for extended absorption of amino acids over a longer period5. While whey is richer in BCAAs, soya is richer in glutamine and arginine5.

Soya is also available in 3 forms; a texturised form, as well as a concentrate and isolates form. The two latter are the ones you are most likely to come across in your sports products. Soy concentrate will contain a minimum of 65% protein while soy isolate is more pure, containing at least 90% protein3.


As previously mentioned, casein is the other, more abundant, but also complete protein derived from milk. You could compare casein to your uncle who insists on posting his Christmas cards instead of emailing, it’s slow, but it gets the job done! The slower rate of digestion associated with casein results in a longer, steady release of amino acids into the body providing for prolonged, slow protein synthesis6. Casein makes an ideal protein source when you will not be able to fuel up for a few hours, for example before bed. It is also rich in the amino acid Glutamine.


Now, while reading this article you may have been thinking to yourself that it could be a good idea to combine these proteins as they each provide different speed release and amino acid ratio benefits.

Well, fortunately FUTURELIFE® have done just that in their SmartProtein 3D blend found in FUTURELIFE® HIGH PROTEIN Smart Food™, FUTURELIFE® High Protein and High Protein LITE Smartbars and FUTURELIFE® Smart Drink™.

For your peace of mind, there is scientific backing to explain why and how a blend of whey, soya and casein can enhance muscle protein synthesis post exercise7, 8. The below table taken from Gregory L Paul’s article published in the journal of the American College of Nutrition explains the rationale:



As you can see, whey protein offers great benefits, but so do other protein sources and it makes sense to use a blend to combine these benefits. Hopefully these explanations have opened your eyes to what is just the beginning of a growing range of protein options available to us.





REVIEWED BY: Angela Leach 

When it comes to food, my general philosophy is everything in moderation. There are, however, some exceptions to this rule – there are foods that we should eat a lot of, for example fresh fruit and vegetables, and there are foods that we would be better off never buying again. What are the top 5 foods that you should boot out your fridge for good?


The “bad” member of the margarine family, brick margarine costs less for a reason. Brick margarines are the hard margarines usually bought in foil packaging. While tub margarines are usually made up of unsaturated fats, most brands of brick margarines contain some saturated fats, but more worryingly –up to 15% trans fats. Trans fats are manmade fats formed during manufacturing, they cause damage by increasing triglyceride and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, while decreasing HDL (good) cholesterol levels. Research has shown Trans fats to increase, amongst others, risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer.


These include cold deli meats, viennas and other sausages, bacon, smoked chicken etc. Granted, these can be very convenient protein options for packed lunches and quick dinners, but because they usually look nothing like their previous unprocessed selves and don’t come with labels (when we pick them from behind a glass display case) we actually don’t know quite what we are eating. Deli meats are often high in saturated fats and are loaded with sodium, nitrates and other preservatives to keep them fresh. Risks associated with these preservatives include various types of cancers and lifestyle diseases.


Processed cheese may be packaged as individual slices in plastic or as cheese spread in bottles. It looks like a bit like cheese, it tastes a bit like cheese, but you start noticing the difference when you heat it- it doesn’t melt like cheese?  Processed cheeses contain either fermented cheese or milk protein concentrate as a base, but undergo a lot of processing to become what you eventually eat. They are loaded with sodium, emulsifiers such as sodium phosphate and colourants- all in all, not really something that you want to put into your body.


Admittedly mayonnaise isn’t bad in the same way that the previously mentioned foods are, but regular mayonnaise is extremely high in energy and fat and that is the problem. Just 1 tablespoon contains about 100 calories, made up almost

What You Need From Your Nutrition During Exercise

By: Danielle Roberts

Endurance sporting events are becoming increasingly popular. Doing well, and recovering well in longer endurance events can be directly linked to good nutrition.



The energy requirements of endurance athletes are higher than other athletes. Calorie requirements differ depending on an athlete’s gender, age, weight goals, and training programme.  Smaller athletes in light training will require a minimum of 2,000 calories per day; larger athletes and those in heavy training may need well over 5,000 calories per day. It is important that athletes try achieve these calories from a variety of food sources. Having a good nutrition programme that meets energy, weight and training goals during the early phases of training, helps prepare you for heavy training schedules, and competition. A sports dietitian is the best person to assist in a personalised meal plan.


Carbohydrates provide the ideal energy source for most endurance exercises because they are quickly absorbed and used by the body. Following a diet that is too low in carbohydrates can cause fatigue and injury. Also, eating sufficient carbohydrates spares protein from being used as a source of fuel during exercise. Generally 5-7g / kg is needed per day for high intensity endurance athletes to perform at their best day after day, and on race day.


Protein helps build and repair muscles, and supports immune function. Protein also is used as a less important fuel for endurance exercise and sport. Even during race events and long training sessions, taking in a little protein, along with carbohydrates may help prevent muscle breakdown. Protein is also vital for recovery post training and allows for muscle protein synthesis. Generally, 1.2-1.7g / kg protein is needed per day.

Looking at your overall diet

Following a nutrient-dense, well-balanced diet, you can easily meet your needs for endurance training and racing. Eat a diet high in quality carbohydrates, moderate in healthy fat and adequate in lean protein.

Your nutrient intake and diet plan needs to adjust to meet changing energy and macronutrient demands as you progress through the different stages of training and competition. Once you have an eating plan in place for a particular cycle, keep consistent eating habits to maintain or improve performance goals.



During a race or event, carbohydrates (or an energy source), becomes very important to avoid “hitting the wall”. This is when your body runs out of available energy sources to fuel performance, and the athlete feels exhausted. Taking in intermediate or fast digesting carbohydrates can prevent this from happening during a race. As a rule we require 30-60 g of carbohydrates per hour, this can increase to 90 g in events with high levels of effort lasting more than 4 hours.

Fat as a fuel?

There are some athletes who are able to adapt to using fat as a source of energy during longer (slower) events, but it takes a while for the body to adapt to a low-carb training diet, and this needs to be monitored closely and adhered to strictly. Something to be cautious of is ingesting slow absorbing fuels like proteins, nuts, or foods with fibre and other solid foods during workouts or races, which can cause gastric discomfort. An empty stomach can absorb your race drink quickly and properly.  Keep your stomach empty by only consuming fast absorbing drinks instead of slow solid foods.


The most important tip to follow for any type of race is of course, never to try a new supplement on race day. An athlete should always be familiar with nutrition available during the race in case that specific supplement disagrees with the digestive system, makes you feel nauseous or causes drops in sugar levels.

Veggie Power: Six Protein-Rich Vegetables

By: Ntsako Mathye

“Eat your vegetables if you want to be big and strong like Popeye”, we’ve all heard it! For some of us eating vegetables growing up was not a side dish but rather our main meal, like pap and spinach.  I always wondered how I would grow big and strong if I only ate vegetables and no meat. My mother assured me that there was plenty of Protein in vegetables. I didn’t believe her, so I decided to find out for myself, and I was amazed.

Vegetables are not only a great source of Vitamins and Minerals that we need to consume for different bodily functions, but many vegetables are a great source of Protein. Protein is essential for many bodily functions, including muscle growth and repair. So, if you’ve been thinking of decreasing your meat intake and going a little greener, here are some common and easy-to-find vegetables that can help fill the Protein gap.


Beans are so versatile and fortunately they are packed full of Protein. They provide many of the essential Amino Acids, like as Isoleucine and Lysine, which we need in our diet. Amino Acids are the building blocks of Protein. Different beans contain different amounts of Protein. The soybean is one of the best sources of Protein. In just one cup of soybeans you would get 29g of Protein. On average one cup of other cooked beans will give you a very substantial 14g of Protein. Black beans contain about 15g per cup1,2. Sprouted beans are even higher in Protein. Sprouting just means that they have started to grow, so they would have little root-like structures.


Thanks to our friend Popeye we already know that spinach is a ‘superfood’ that gives us great powers. Spinach is a great source of Vitamins, Minerals and Antioxidants. But along with all those micronutrients, there is plenty of Protein as well. Spinach contains 5.3g of Protein per cup of cooked spinach2,3. Spinach can make a Protein-rich addition to your favourite meal or fruit smoothie.


This little round green mushy vegetable is not only a fun food to give to babies when they start to explore food, it’s also a Protein-packed vegetable. Peas contain 7.9g of Protein per cup. You can easily add peas to many dishes like stews and salads to increase the Protein content3, 4.


Broccoli is high in Fibre, Minerals and Antioxidants. It also contains Vitamin K and C. This makes the Protein just an added benefit. Broccoli contains 2.6g of Protein per cup. You can add chopped broccoli to pasta dishes or stews to hide it away from those fussy children, alternatively add a homemade cheese sauce to improve the flavour and increase the Protein3, 4.


They grow everywhere but you can’t eat them all. Mushrooms are a very versatile food which are very easy to find. They are also packed full of Vitamins, Minerals and Antioxidants. Protein content varies within the mushroom range, with popular button mushrooms containing 3.9g of Protein per cooked cup3.


One of my favourite South African vegetables has to be the mealie (as we fondly call it). Technically, corn is a grain, but many people use it as a vegetable. Whether you’re serving sweetcorn on the side or whole kernels on the braai, it is delicious. Corn provides 4.7g per medium ear and also contains plenty of Vitamins and Minerals.


We know we should eat at least 5 fruits and vegetables per day, because they are very “good” for us but often protein is not one of the benefits that pop to mind when we think of veggies. There are many vegetables that can be a good source of Protein. Take your time and familiarise yourself with your vegetable aisle, and try to replace some animal protein in your diet with the vegetables mentioned in this article. To get the most benefit from vegetables, mix it up and eat a rainbow of colours. Play around with recipes to make them interesting, try vegetables raw or cooked, but remember to “eat your veggies if you want to be big and strong like Popeye!”

Where does FUTURELIFE® fit in?

Within the FUTURELIFE® range we have a large variety of high Protein options which can be used to complement your high Protein vegetables in the quest to reach your Protein requirements without eating large amounts of meat. Interestingly, the primary protein source used in our range is the “hero” of vegetable Proteins, the soybean.




Eating for Sustained Energy: The Basics of Glycaemic Index and Where FUTURELIFE® Products Fit In.

By: Ashleigh Smith

Date: December 2016

In this fast paced society it becomes important to make sure that we are not taking short cuts when it comes to healthy eating. Our body uses the food we eat as fuel to ensure it functions at its optimum. Foods and liquids that contain carbohydrates, protein and fat are broken down into smaller components and absorbed into the blood where they are used to perform various functions. Carbohydrates are the main source of fuel within the body, but your body will use protein and fat if carbohydrates are depleted. Not all foods in these groups are created equally; therefore ensuring that you choose foods that provide you with round-the-clock energy is very important.


Carbohydrates come in two types, simple (refined) and complex (unrefined); both are broken down to glucose which is used by our cells as fuel. However, the rate at which these carbohydrates are broken down and absorbed into the blood is important. Complex carbohydrates such as high-fibre cereals, whole-grain breads, pastas, legumes and starchy vegetables, contain fibre which takes longer to breakdown and be absorbed into the blood. Many of these foods are often classified as having a low Glycaemic Index (GI). This results in a more gradual increased in blood glucose resulting in less of a spike in blood sugar and reduced insulin release. As a result you experience prolonged energy, a feeling of satiety and are fuller for longer. Simple or refined carbohydrates have the opposite effect, they are digested quickly provide you with upfront energy however 30 to 60 minutes later you experience a slump. These foods are often are low in fibre, consist of refined carbohydrate and are often high in added sugars. Such foods are classified as high GI, examples include white bread or pasta, pastries, pies, cakes, sweets, chocolate and sugar rich cool drinks.

The Glycaemic Index (GI) is a system that ranks carbohydrate-containing foods based on their physiological effect on blood glucose (blood sugar) levels. The GI of a specific food is determined by comparing the Blood Glucose Response (BGR) of that food with the BGR of glucose.2 Glucose is used as the reference food as it is absorbed quickly from the small intestine and results in the greatest and most rapid rise in blood glucose. Foods are ranked on a scale from 0 – 100, according to their actual effect on blood glucose levels.2

The GI Foundation of South Africa (GIFSA) has developed easily recognisable logos that are displayed on products to show you their GI. In order to display the GIFSA endorsement logo, products are verified by a third party to ensure the product are indeed what it says on the packaging. The table below explains what these logo’s mean:2


GI Range GI foundation logo
Low 55 or less Frequent foods

·         Very low fat

·         Low GI products

·         Ingredients considered to be free of health risks and so may be eaten freely

Eaten often

·         Low fat

·         Low GI products

·         Minimal effect on blood glucose, cholesterol and/or blood pressure levels

·         Ingredients considered to be healthy when eaten in normal amounts

·         Often included with the Diabetes Association logo

Intermediate 56 – 69 Eaten sometimes

·         Intermediate GI

·         Lower fat

·         Safe for those suffering from certain medical conditions, but only in limited servings.

·         Stick to portion size

High 70 or more Eaten with exercise

·         High GI products

·         Although generally unsafe for diabetics, have certain useful applications

·         Excellent for preventing fatigue & boosting energy levels after, or during prolonged strenuous exercise

·         Useful in hypoglycaemia


When it comes to using this concept during meal planning, choosing foods that have a low or intermediate GI will ensure you are consuming more nutritious foods that do not cause spikes in your blood sugar levels. It is okay to sometimes include small quantities of high GI foods in a meal, as long as most of the meal contains lower GI carbohydrate foods such as fruit, vegetables, fruit, legumes, low GI starches and/or dairy.

There are some factors that can influence or change the GI of a food, here they are:

  • The higher the fat, protein and fibre content of a food, the lower the GI becomes. Therefore including lean proteins and small amounts of “good” fats can lower the GI of a meal.
  • As a fruit or vegetable ripens and storage time increases, the higher the GI becomes.
  • Processing of food increases the GI e.g.
    • Fruit juice has a higher GI than the whole fruit.
    • Mashed potato has a higher GI than a whole baked potato.
    • Stone-ground whole-wheat bread has a lower GI than other whole-wheat breads.
  • Cooking method and time e.g.
    • Al dente pasta has a lower GI than soft-cooked pasta.
  • Food eaten alone vs. combined with other foods e.g. when high GI foods are eaten in combination with low GI foods, it results in more balanced blood glucose levels.4

The GI gives you an indication of the type of carbohydrate, but it doesn’t tell you about how much you should be eating therefore portion control is still key. There are also some foods that are classified as being high GI which are nutrient-dense and should not necessarily be excluded. An example of these is certain fruits and starchy vegetables.  While higher GI values are perceived “bad”, the quantity of carbohydrate per serving in these examples is relatively low, therefore the effect on blood sugar levels will be minimal.3


  • Eat at least 3 meals a day and include small snacks if necessary.
  • At meals, include something from each food group as foods high in fibre, protein and fat take a longer time to digest.
    • Include lean cuts of proteins such as chicken, ostrich, fish, pork, and beef, as well as beans, peas, lentils and chickpeas
    • Moderate amounts of healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats such as avocados, seeds, nuts, omega-3 rich fish and plant oils such as olive, canola, avocado etc…
  • Including at least 2 litres of caffeine, sugar and alcohol free fluids every day. Alcohol is a depressant and can reduce your energy levels, while caffeine usually provides an initial two-hour energy burst, followed by a crash.

At FUTURELIFE® we strive to develop products that are not only convenient but nutritionally dense. Many of our products are low or intermediate GI; the table below gives you an indication of the GI of our products:3




Product Gl range Portion Sizes

(g / ml)

Carbs (g) per portion size
FUTURELIFE® HIGH ENERGY Smart Food™ Low 50 21.5
FUTURELIFE® HIGH PROTEIN Smart Food™ Lowest 50 18
FUTURELIFE® ZERO Smart Food™ Low 40 20
FUTURELIFE® Smart Drink™ Low 250 ml 21
FUTURELIFE® Smart Bread™ (BROWN & WHITE) Low 2 slices 28 – 30
FUTURELIFE® ZERO WITH OATS Intermediate (calculated) 40 22
FUTURELIFE® Crunch Intermediate 40 27
FUTURELIFE® Smart Oats® Intermediate 50 32.5

For more information on GI and which foods are classified into certain categories refer to or chat to your dietician. Visit our website on for nutrition related articles, meal plans or more information on any of our products

Healthy Eating for Less

Healthy Eating for Less

By: Elizda Hanekom

Date: July 2016



  • Many people do not know what healthy eating is, over half of Americans believed that figuring out what is healthy and what is not is harder than figuring out their income taxes (1)
  • South African overweight and obesity rates are the highest in Sub-Saharan Africa(2)
  • Up to 70% of women and a third of men in our country are classified as overweight or obese
  • Rates for children are also rising 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 5 boys between the ages of 2-14 years classified as overweight or obese are (2)

With prices sky-rocketing and everyday life becoming more and more expensive, it seems like our once fat wallets are now on a strict diet. Everyday choices become more challenging as we decide where to spend our money. Here are some useful tips and tricks to keep your health on track while considering the cost burden, should come in handy. Healthy lifestyles should never be compromised.


Healthy eating is defined as consuming a variety of foods in the correct quantities that give us the nutrients we need in order to maintain our health, make us feel good and provide us with energy to carry out our daily tasks. (3) Healthy eating helps decrease our risk for Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) such as Cardiovascular Disease (CVD), Diabetes and Hypertension. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends eating a diet that is low in sodium, fat and sugar and high in fruits and vegetables (400g) to help improve health overall and decrease the risk of NCDs. (4) (1)



  • Meal Planning is essential

Planning meals in advance will definitely help keep the “healthy you” on track as well as save costs. Remember to buy brown vs white, low-fat vs full-cream and fresh, whole foods vs processed foods. Take one day per week to plan the following week’s menu. Set up a shopping list whilst considering which ingredients you already have. It’s important to regularly check ones fridge and pantry to make sure foods are utilised and wastage is decreased.


  • Set up a shopping list and stick to it

We often get side-tracked at the grocery stores where we end up buying things we don’t need, every purchase adds up. Whole foods are mostly located in the perimeter of the shops, start doing your groceries here to fill up your cart. The middle aisles often contain the more unhealthy items such as processed foods; only go down the aisles where you need something, browsing may lead to temptations. (5) Most shops also place there expensive items at eye level, when scanning for the items you need try look at the top or bottom of the shelves. (5)


  • Don’t go to the shops hungry

When we are hungry we often crave foods that are not good for our health or wallets. Make sure to eat a balanced meal or have an on-the-go snack before going to the shops. Try having something like a yoghurt, fruit, FUTURELIFE® Smart Drink, making a smoothie from FUTURELIFE® HIGH ENERGY Smart Food™ or FUTURELIFE® HIGH PROTEIN Smart Food™ (see great recipes online: or grabbing a FUTURELIFE® High Protein LITE Smart bar to keep you satisfied and healthy whilst on your shopping journey.


  • Buy local, seasonal fruit and vegetables

These foods are usually easy on the wallet as the abundance of the crop usually help to decrease the price. Seasonal fruits and vegetables often taste better too. “Foods that are chilled and shipped lose flavour at every step of the way – chilling cuts their flavour, transport cuts their flavour, being held in warehouses cuts their flavor” explains Susan Herrmann (6) Loomis, owner of On Rue Tatin Cooking School in France and author of countless cookbooks.


  • Buy whole foods

Processed foods are often more expensive than whole foods, for example buying a block of cheese and grating it yourself will be cheaper than buying already shredded cheese. (5) Same goes for vegetables, buy whole veggies and cut them up yourself, already peeled and chopped vegetables cost a lot more per serving than making up your own vegetable mixes.


  • Buy in bulk and look for sales

Foods which keep for a long period of time can be bought in bulk. Grains like brown rice, barley and oats, as well as lentils, beans, some nuts and dried fruit kept in airtight containers can last a very long time. Research the sales and promotions running at your supermarket and plan your meals according to this, this may save you a lot of money.  If your supermarket store offers a savings card, be sure to sign up.


  • Buy more affordable cuts of meat

Meat can be enjoyed whilst on a budget. Change the cut of meat to get more affordable options. Instead of having chicken breasts buy chicken thighs and try different cooking methods, a slow cooker is excellent to help make tough cuts a lot more juicy and tender. Inexpensive cuts of meat often make great casseroles, soups and stews. (5)


  • Cook at home and make enough for leftovers

Eating out or buying fast foods are often high in fat, salt and calories which are not good for us and these foods are also not easy on the wallet. Instead opt for eating healthful meals at home. This way you know exactly what is in your food. Cooking larger quantities of food and using the leftovers helps save costs and time. Leftovers can be used for lunches, in other recipes or used to make great stews, stir-fries and salads.


Eating healthy influences the way we feel about ourselves and shapes the way we look. It is important to make good food choices everyday not only for ourselves but also for our families. Healthy eating does not have to cost a fortune, following these simple tips may help lead a better lifestyle. Bad health can often cost more as medical bills increase and work capacity may decrease. Always remember that no price can be put on good health.