Sugar is Sweet.....
This month’s blog is sweet, really sweet. We’re talking sugar, sugary drinks, Halloween candy, etc. Yes, hard to believe but Halloween is almost upon us!
Back to sugar. Sugar is a simple carbohydrate. Carbohydrates are essential ingredients of a healthy diet. Carbohydrates come in several forms. These include, sugar, fiber and starch. They provided the body with glucose which is converted energy (calories).
Some types of carbohydrates are healthier than others. The healthiest sources of carbohydrates (complex carbohydrates) are non-processed whole grains, vegetables and beans. These foods deliver vitamins, minerals, fiber and other important nutrients.
Unhealthy sources of carbohydrates (simple carbohydrates) include white bread, pastries, candy, sodas and other processed food. These foods contain easily digested carbohydrates that may contribute to weight gain and promote diabetes and heart disease.
The average American consumes 22 teaspoons of added sugar a day. This accounts for an added 350 calories. Most added sugar comes from processed and prepared foods. Sugar-sweetened beverages and breakfast cereals are two of the most serious offenders.
Here are some tips for adding healthy carbohydrates to your child’s diet:
- Whole grains for breakfast—old fashioned oatmeal, cold cereal with whole grains/low sugar (less than 8 grams of sugar per serving).
- Use whole grain bread
- Use brown rice or quinoa instead of white rice or bread.
- Serve whole fruit instead of fruit juice. An orange has twice as much fiber and half as much sugar as 12 oz. of orange juice.
- Pass on potatoes. Substitute beans which provide protein and fiber.
One Mom from New York City decided to tally up the calories in her child’s Halloween candy. The grand total was 7238 calories! Wow! That’s a lot of sugar.
Here’s a way to avoid that sugar overload. Donate the candy. There are several organizations that will accept individually wrapped candy.
Here are a few:
- Operation Shoe Box—sends candy to our troops
8360 East Highway 25
Belleview, FL 34420
- Operation Gratitude—check the website since a donation form is required
- Food Banks—call first to see if they are accepting candy donations
- Local dentists/orthodontists---some will pay to buy candy form children.
Check the website, www.halloweencandybuyback.com for more information.
Have a safe and healthy Halloween!
Article written by Sue Gaston, M.D.