Skip the Sugar for a Healthier Lifestyle
According to Statistics Canada, sugar consumption in Canada is at an all-time high. The average Canadian consumes 26 teaspoons of sugar per day – that’s twenty 2kg bags of sugar per year, and far too many per the World Health Organization (WHO), who is once again urging people to lower the amount of sugar they consume. The WHO is recommending we lower sugar to 5-10% of our total calories. That works out to 25-50g of sugar per day in a 2000kcal daily diet. One can of coke contains 46g of sugar. Health Canada is considering setting the limit at 20% or 100g per day, a level that may not be low enough. There is also the plan to start listing added sugar separately from sugars found naturally in foods on the Nutrition Facts Table of the Food label in Canada. This is a great start. How can you start to make the transition to a lower sugar diet? Here are five tips to establish healthy cooking habits and a healthy lifestyle:
- Reduce or eliminate sugar sweetened beverages. Sweetened beverages, including fruit-flavoured drinks, carbonated drinks, sports and energy drinks, may be the single largest driving factor of the obesity epidemic. Replace these beverages with calorie-free drinks such as water, tea or drinks that provide vitamins and nutrients such as almond milk and 100% pure fruit juice. Almond Fresh Unsweetened, is a refreshing, no sugar added beverage which can be enjoyed by the glass or be used as a cooking ingredient in healthy, low-sugar meals.
- Skip sugary ingredients. Instead of jams, jellies, honey and syrups, consider adding vanilla or almond extract or spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg or ginger which impart a sweet flavour without the use of sugar.
- Say no to candy and chocolate. Plan to have a snack between meals to help maintain blood sugars and prevent sugar cravings. Consider plain yogurt with berries, raw vegetables and hummus or a fruit and unsweetened yogurt smoothie.
- Add nutrients, not calories. Make healthier choices when choosing desserts. Consider having tinned peaches packed in water, apple crumble with oatmeal topping, low-sugar Greek yogurt with fresh berries or simply a glass of steamed unsweetened almond milk with a dash of cinnamon.
- Cook together. Skipping the sugar is no cake walk. Canadian health experts continue to point to cooking together as a family to establish healthy cooking habits and a healthy lifestyle. Selecting weekly meals and shopping as a family will also help instill healthy eating habits. Remember, start simple and make small changes over time and you’ll soon start to see a change in your overall health.
9.5 cubes of sugar in à 1 can of coke
6.5 cubes of sugar in à 1 can of Red Bull
3.5 cubes of sugar in à 4 Oreo cookies
7.5 cubes of sugar in à 1 Snickers bar
7 cubes of sugar in à ½ cup Häagen-Dazs raspberry sorbet
1 serving of Almond Fresh Unsweetened almond milk à0 grams of sugar, 35 calories, and fortified with nine essential vitamins and minerals