Reduce Sugar Consumption - It Just Takes a Baby Step
by Rochelle Griffin
In our fast paced world, the one question that I am asked all the time is “What’s one thing that I can do to make a difference in my health?” Of course, there are MANY components to achieving an ideal weight and staying healthy, so I had to really think about it. What IS the one thing that could be done…that baby step…to improve health in adults and children alike?
I realized that it’s actually simple, to reduce sugar consumption, Stop drinking sugar-sweetened beverages.
My answer may have stopped you in your tracks. Huh? Not work out 6 days per week? Or be sure to eat breakfast? Maybe eat more fruits and veggies? Well, of course, those are all important steps to take, but you asked me for one thing…a baby step.
What many don’t realize is that sugar-sweetened beverages are the LARGEST sources of sugar in the diets of children, teenagers, and adults! In fact, sugar-sweetened drinks are the only single “food” item that has been directly linked to obesity.
Before you stop me and say that your family does not drink soda, lets look at why sugar, as a whole, is bad for us. Sugar adds unnecessary calories into our diet, rots our teeth, makes us acidic (and more prone to injury/illness), contributes to obesity, raises our blood sugar level, and a host of other reasons.
OK, let’s test you. Do you know how many teaspoons of sugar are in the following?
20 oz. Coke: _______
16 oz. Sunny Delight: _______
16 oz. Snapple Lemonade Iced Tea: _______
20 oz. Gatorade: _______
12 oz. apple juice: _______
12 oz. orange juice: _______
Vitamin Water: _______
How did you do? Did you at least make an educated guess? Here are the answers PER SERVING: Coke = 17 tsp, Sunny Delight = 15 tsp, Snapple Lemonade Iced Tea = 14 tsp, Gatorade = 9 tsp, Apple juice = 10 tsp, Orange juice = 8 tsp, Vitamin Water = 8 tsp.
Moral of the story? It’s not just soda that is laden with sugar. We have to remember that these drinks also have calories and little-to-no nutritional value. An average 20 oz. soda or juice has 250 calories.
Parents, are you ready for this? Juice and juice drinks are just as bad as soda for our children! Ounce per ounce they pack the same calorie and sugar punch as the soda, plus juice is devoid of the fiber that is natural occurring in the fruit. If we are strictly looking at sugar content, we are better off giving our kids a sugar cereal like Fruit Loops which only has 4 teaspoons of sugar per serving. (Rest assured, I’m NOT telling you to do that.)
Here’s an easy way to figure out how many teaspoons of sugar is in something: take the grams per serving and divide by 4. Remember, beverages often have more than one serving in it. Read the label. For example, if a 20 ounce soda has 2.5 servings in it and 27 grams of sugar per serving, you will multiple 27 x 2.5 = 65 grams for the entire bottle. Next divide by 4. 65/4 = 16.25 teaspoons of sugar PER SERVING!
Here are some tips to get the sugar out of your liquids:
1. Drink plain old water! Replace one of the sugary drinks with water per day. Gradually increase the water until you no longer drink the sweet stuff. Do you realize that if you cut out one 20 oz soda a day and continued to eat/exercise at whatever capacity you do right now, you would lose 25 lbs in a year? It’s a big deal!
P.S. Diet soda is not any better for you. Yea, I get that there isn’t sugar, but there are chemicals and such that you just don’t want to introduce into your body.
2. Eat a piece of fruit instead of drinking juice. The fiber will do you good.
3. Make your own “sun tea.” Steep decaf tea bags in water and set them in a pitcher in the sun for a few hours. Add lemon, ice, and stevia. Voila!
4. Do what we do in our family and drink Shakeology instead. It’s healthy for us and contains all the nutrients that we need in a day. It’s our “insurance in a glass.”
Have you already taken this baby step towards good health and wellness? If you have, I’d love to hear about it and any tips that you have!A Toast to Your Health,
She founded both GoFitCoach, Inc. & Your Best Life, Inc. with her husband Keith after stepping onto the edge of financial & physical ruin. Having experienced a complete turn-around, they now desire to give hope & support to those who are dissatisfied with their current situation.
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