Wednesday, April 27, 2016

WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS: Become a Sugar Detective

Volvic Blogparade: Blackberry Infused Water:

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away." 

One constant in the educational work we do in Growing Healthy Kids is teaching parents and kids about sugar.  All parents need to know about the difference between added sugars and natural sugars.  All kids need to learn that natural sugar is what our bodies were designed to process, but only in small quantities. Excessive sugar intake is linked to belly fat, obesity, heart disease, diabetes, liver disease, and poor cancer survival rates. The average American consumes about 41 teaspoons of sugar a day, while the guidelines from American Heart Association call for limiting sugar intake to 6-9 teaspoons a day.  NOTE:  One teaspoon of sugar contains 4 grams of carbohydrates.

Sugars that are added to foods during processing are the ones we don't need.  Read a nutrition facts panel on a cereal box or a box of Pop Tarts and see how many different added sugars you can find.  Here's a clue: any ingredient that ends in “-ose” is a sugar.  Always check food labels for what I call “the evil empire sugar” or high fructose corn syrup.  Added sugars come in many names, more than 50.  To view a list, just go to pages 23-26 of Nourish and Flourish:  Kid-Tested and Approved Tips and Recipes to Prevent Diabetes.*

The sugar you eat should be limited to natural sugars, that found in fruits and some vegetables (like sweet potatoes and corn).  Fruit also contains dietary fiber (the "bones" which give fruits their unique form ) which helps to slow down the absorption of sugar.   

Here are 3 tips parents and kids can use:
  1. Read food labels and look for “high fructose corn syrup”.  If the food or drink contains it, don’t buy it.
  2. Choose foods and drinks without added sugars.
  3. Replace fruit juice with fresh fruit.

In gratitude,
Nancy Heinrich

Founder, Growing Healthy Kids, Inc.

*To order a copy of Nourish and Flourish, click on the link in the top right corner of this page.