Why Is Everyone Overweight
Obesity is a major problem in our country and so are the diet practices of many Americans. As children, we load up on sugared cereals and candy and then parents wonder why kids are out of shape. It does not get much better as adults as many of the quick meals we eat because time is of the essence are packed with preservatives, salt, and sugar.
Convenience Is Winning Out Over Healthy
As we alluded to in the opening paragraph, a home-cooked meal seems to be the exception rather than the rule today. More people are getting their meals from Subway and WaWa than they are from their own kitchen. And let’s be honest, when you need a quick fix, something loaded with sugar usually wins out.
Some of the recent studies in regard to the health of our children offer some rather disturbing insights. The lunch programs at many schools feed the kids foods they like simply so they will eat. Burgers, pizza, pudding, cake, and donuts are on far more menus than vegetables and fruit. This is a real problem because this is how our children are learning to eat!
Start Introducing Healthy Food Now
To think anyone can change his or her diet overnight is not even realistic, especially when it comes to children. However, what you can do is start to make healthy changes little by little until the diet is more consistent with a healthy eater instead of a sugar monster.
Here are a few ideas on how you can start eating healthier:
Coffee or Tea – this is where many of us get our first jolt of sugar for the day. If you are coffee drinker, try a naturally flavored coffee instead of stronger coffee in the morning. Or, if you like the flavor of your current coffee, start reducing the amount of sugar you use until you gradually fade it out altogether. Better yet, start drinking white tea. There are some very yummy naturally flavored white teas that are loaded with anti oxidants where sugar is not even necessary.
Fruit – watch what fruits you are eating ever day. For instance, while bananas are healthy, the average banana has over 25g of sugar in it. That is more sugar than a child or woman should have all day and almost the full daily serving for a man! Instead, eat fruits like blueberries and raspberries that are much lower in sugar. If you like a smoothie, add cranberries, which have almost no sugar. If you do eat a banana, eat it early in the day so you can use that sugar as energy.
Desserts – many desserts today try to fool the consumer by saying there is “no added sugar,” which does NOT mean no sugar at all. The natural sugars on these products can be extremely high, so they are still in the danger zone. If you have a sweet tooth, try sugar-free Jell-o or make your sugar-free pudding with natural almond milk. If you enjoy ice cream, make it a treat, not the norm. A big bowl every night will blow your diet right out of the water!
Become a Label Reader – if you look at labels, you will be amazed at how many products you would not normally associate with sugar are actually packed with it. For instance, a well-known brand of baked beans averages about 12g of sugar per serving for its normal recipe. Look at the maple and brown sugar or BBQ recipe and you are at almost 30g of sugar for a single serving of beans!
Having a diet high in sugar is dangerous for so many reasons. Obesity is a problem we see already in our children, but diabetes may be in their future as well if they continue to eat a diet high in sugar. Nobody is saying you have to eliminate it altogether, it just needs to be better monitored. Depending upon your age and gender, you are allowed about 25-30g of sugar per day. Consume it naturally and carefully to ensure that you are not taking in too much and fall into one of the danger categories.