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I, as well as anyone, still love the comforting and delicious taste of sugar. It brings me back to my childhood when I went to my Nannie and Grandpa’s house and went straight for the cupboard. I could always grab chocolate pudding, fruit cups, and cookies to eat. It was AWESOME!  I also would visit my mom at the local IGA bakery and have a monster chocolate chip cookie. MMMMMmmm……..

How many of you can think of a childhood memory that didn’t involve something sweet to eat? I sure can! This for me is a big reason why I ate a large amount of sweets in my teenage years and into adulthood.  I would drink coffee with added sugar and flavored syrup everyday from the local corner store or eat a creamy rich dessert with my meals after eating a sandwich with sauces.  I would also, not to long ago, eat half of a chocolate cake on date nights…. and not give a second thought of what it was doing to me.  Before I knew it, I was in that perpetual cycle of sugar addiction!

Sugar is beginning to have a bad reputation and rightfully so! There is a whopping 4 grams of refined sugar in one teaspoon.  Let’s put that into perspective, there is almost 10 teaspoons of sugar in ONE CAN of most pops!  There are also naturally occurring sugars in some food we eat such as fruits, vegetables, and some dairy products and these contain important nutrients like vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and antioxidants which are important for our bodies to thrive, we can consume in reasonable quantities with a healthful diet. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends no more than 6-12 tsp, or 24-48 grams, of ADDED sugar daily. That includes what we add to our drinks, and what we buy in packages, such as breads, pasta, baked good, refined carbs and so on.  The Heart and Stroke Foundation recommends for an average 2000 calorie diet that we consume no more then 5-10% of our calories from sugar.

Did you know there are over 56 different names for sugar? Such as, Sucrose, Maltodextrin, honey, molasses and Lactose just to name a few, these are hidden in our food everyday, be it organic, packaged, NON- GMO and processed. When we eat sugar, we break it into glucose, our body’s main fuel source, however it can have no nutritional value We store glucose in our liver and muscles, which we use for energy when needed.  If both are full, our body will turn the excess glucose into fat and that is stored in our fat tissue. We need to be mindful about the amount of added sugar we and our children are consuming.

To put this into perspective here are some alarming statistics

  • More kids drink fruit flavored beverages then whole fruit, vegetables or other forms of dietary fiber such as nuts, whole grains or lentils.
  • Obesity rates among children and youth in Canada have nearly tripled in the last 30 years.
  • Added sugar may increase your risk of cancer, diabetes and heart disease
  • Added sugar may increase your risk of depression

This is why I have such a drive to help teach about nutrition and that can be safe food can be fun!

Sugar has taken over, it is in almost everything!  The good news is we can choose wisely when it comes to what we eat, and how much added sugar we can have in our daily diet.  We can break the perpetual sugar cycle and live without so much of it in our daily lives.

Here are some tips and tricks I use to eat less sugar in my daily life:

  • Always have fresh and/or healthy snacks available in my kitchen (green apple and nut butter is my favorite and recently discovered chocolate avocado cookies, they are so good).
  • Always have prepped vegetables and fruit ready to grab. This decreases our chance of having sugar- sweetened smoothies.
  • Eat more healthy fats in my diet to keep me full.
  • If you find yourself in the kitchen looking for that sweet fix, grab a handful of nuts or seeds.
  • Read a book or study more.
  • Talk and interact with friends.
  • Play with your kids or pets.
  • Don’t drink sugar.
  • Eat more whole foods.
  • Cook at home as much as possible.
  • Make your own salad dressing with vinegars and olive oil or avocado.
  • Shop the perimeter of the grocery store, sticking with whole, fresh foods.
  • Choose zero sugar sauces or make your own.
  • Choose plain unsweetened yogurt and sweeten with fresh or frozen fruit.

 

Being a self -proclaimed sugar addict this works for me and some of these tips may work for you too. I still indulge in sweets with sugar and I do not feel bad about it. I do try to follow the recommended amount and am successful, if I do back track, I get right back on! It is also Important to teach our kids to limit sugar and help them with tips and trick to have them stay away from the perpetual sugar trap.

Have any questions? Do you need to beat the pleasure trap of Added sugar? Lets have a chat!

Email me, Jenni, at jenni@talkdirttome.ca

References & Resources

https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/lower-sugar-intake-to-less-than-5-of-daily-calories-who-says-1.2560639

http://www.heartandstroke.ca/get-healthy/healthy-eating/reduce-sugar

http://www.healthline.com/nutrition/too-much-sugar#section12

Book: Fat Chance Beating the Odds against SUGAR, PROCESSED FOOD, OBESITY and DISEASE, Author Dr. Robert H. Lustiq M.D

**Disclaimer**: Content provided is for informational and educational purposes only.  It is not meant to diagnose or treat heath conditions/illness.  Please consult your healthcare professional before making any lifestyle changes related to your health.