Watch Your Whites
By:Lisa Millar, Registered Holistic Nutritionist, BA, ECE
Making changes to your daily diet isn`t easy. Many people feel that to improve their diet they have to sacrifice a lot or make major changes, which means hard work– who wants that???
But maybe we should try looking at it another way. If you are ready to start-TAKE IT ONE STEP AT A TIME. You do not have to make a million changes at once, in fact, you`ll do better and persist at it if you take it step by step. Think baby steps.
One change to make which has a positive impact on our immune system, our hormones and our energy levels is to reduce the amount of white sugar we consume daily. It might surprise you to know that in the last 20 years we have increased our sugar intake by 25 pounds per year– Yuck!
During this time, products containing added sugar have become more and more processed and nutrients have been lost. It is this increase in sugar in our diets which leads us to crave it more often. Unfortunately, it’s a vicious cycle or roller coaster ride of sugar highs and lows.
What has me concerned (now that my kids are getting older), is the fact that teenagers choose to drink a lot of sugar. Carbonated beverages such as soda pop and fruit beverages contain very little, if any nutrients. Dubbing them “liquid candy” is not far off the mark. And that includes the specialty “coffees” that teens are consuming as well. Whatever happened to the good old Americano anyway???Seriously, some of these coffee drinks might as well be considered as dessert, sigh….`http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mark-hyman/sugar-heart-attack_b_4746440.html
Younger kids also drink a lot of sugar, but in their case, it comes from lactose which is found in milk. The saving grace here is that lactose is a naturally occurring sugar, not processed. Just be careful when you buy milk products from the grocery store. Milk can have added sugar– be sure to read the nutrition labels every time!
So what is a parent to do when a child wants something sweet? First, remember the 80-20 rule. It is ok to have a treat every now and then (20% of the time), just try to avoid it most of the time (80%).
A great option to manage a sweet craving is always a piece of fruit. Fruit is a very versatile, healthy option… You can choose to eat it raw, or cooked, dried or pureed. It can be added to baked goods giving muffins and cookies a sweet flavour and moisture.
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