I, as well as anyone, still love the comforting and delicious taste of sweets. It brings me back to my childhood when I went to my Nannie and Grandpa’s house and I went straight for the cupboard. I could always grab chocolate pudding, fruit cups, and cookies to eat. I also would visit my mom at the local IGA bakery and have a monster chocolate chip cookie.
How many of you can think of a childhood memory that didn’t involve something sweet to eat? 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 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 sugar in one teaspoon. Let’s put that into perspective, there is almost 10 teaspoons of sugar in ONE CAN of most pops! When we eat sugar or carbohydrates we break that into a monosaccharide called glucose, our body’s main fuel source. 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. Also, a hormone known as insulin will come to the rescue and lower our raised blood sugar.
We need to be mindful about the amount we are consuming. There are naturally occurring sugars in some food we eat such as fruits, vegetables, and milk products and these contain important nutrients for our bodies to thrive. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends no more than 6-12 tsp, or 24-48 grams, of sugar daily. That includes what we add to our drinks, food, and what we buy in packages, such as breads, pasta, 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.
Sugar has taken over, it is in almost everything! However, the good news is we can choose wisely when it comes to what we eat, and how much 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.
When my beautiful babies were born, I realized I needed to try and eat ‘healthier’. But what did that mean? I decided to do my own research and ask my family what it is they did to eat healthier. Well the simple answer, so I thought, was to stop eating sweets! Just like that, cut it out and never look back. I was DEAD wrong!
Here are some tips and tricks I use to eat less sugar and carbs in my daily life:
- We 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).
- We always have prepped vegetables and fruit ready to grab.
- I eat more healthy fats in my diet to keep me full.
- If I find myself in the kitchen looking for that sweet fix, I grab a handful of nuts or seeds.
- We read a book or study more.
- We talk and interact with friends.
- I play with my kids.
- I don’t drink my sugar.
- We eat more whole foods.
- We cook at home as much as possible.
These work for me and some may work for you too. I am not perfect, I still indulge in sweets with sugar and I do not feel bad about it. I still struggle with this day. I do try to follow the recommended amount, but it I am not always successful. I will one day be, I know it!!
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References & Resources
**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.