As parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and just as regular human beings, keeping our children healthy and free from disease is paramount. But why are we seeing an increase in kids’ cancer, obesity, autism, ADHD, diabetes and more? In a world where kids TV channels are bombarded with ads promoting sugary snacks and sodas, it makes you wonder what lifestyle changes can be done to prevent disease and improve our children’s lives.
Studies have shown that consuming 20 teaspoons of simple sugar (or the amount in two average 12-ounce sodas) causes a 50 percent drop in the ability of white blood cells to kill germs. This damage to immunity starts in less than 30 minutes and if consumed frequently, sugar is setting you up to be sick. On the other hand, consuming complex carbs and starches has no effect on the immune system at all.
ELIMINATE SUGAR & RECOGNIZE HIDDEN SUGAR
The Huffington Post recently pointed out the “9 hidden sources of sugar in your diet.” The foods listed below foods appear to be healthy but are loaded with refined sugar. You can check the full article on www.huffingtonpost.com
1. Granola cereals or Bars: ( 3-6 teaspoons)
These might look super healthy, but granola-based cereals can have up to 15 grams of refined sugar in less than a cup. That's like eating three teaspoons of sugar. Granola bars can be even worse with up to 25 grams in a small bar, which is equal to the amount of sugar in a Hershey bar. "Granola bars are densely packed calories that are very difficult to portion control as the sweetness increases your appetite for more," says Dr. Peeke. "If you want satisfying crunch, reach for 12 almonds or walnuts."
2. Yoghurt (6 teaspoon in 8oz)
"All yogurts contain some sugar in the form of lactose (milk sugar), which is okay," says Dr. Peeke. "It’s the added sugar—often high fructose corn syrup—typical of 'fruit' yogurts that you need to watch out for, as they can have up to 30 grams (six teaspoons) or more of sugar per serving." A better choice: Grab plain Greek yogurt and add the herb stevia for sweetness, or swirl in 1/2 teaspoon of raw honey or maple syrup, which are both natural sources of sugar and "are fine in appropriate portions," says Dr. Peeke.
3. Ketchup and Ketchup-based salad dressing ( 2 teaspoons in two -Tablespoon)
Hold the French, Russian, and Thousand Island next time your order a salad. "These ketchup-based dressings have 9-10 grams of sugar per two-tablespoon serving," says Dr. Peeke. That's more than four times the recommended allowance of about two grams per a two-tablespoon serving. If you think fruity vinaigrette such as raspberry or pomegranate is a better choice, you'd be wrong. They have the same high amounts of sugar, says Dr. Peeke. Her suggestion: Make your own dressing using healthy ingredients (such as olive oil, garlic, and balsamic vinegar) and no refined sugar.
4. Fruit Juices: ( 5-7 teaspoons)
You buy fruit juice thinking it's just squeezed fruit, but the truth is, fruit juices are often made from fruit concentrates, which aren't always good for you. Concentrates do contain fruit, but often in the concentration process the fruit flavor becomes bland, so sugar is added to make it sweet. Other fruit juices are really "fruit-flavored" drinks, which have very little fruit, if any, and are riddled with refined sugar, says Dr. Peeke. Fruit juices can have anywhere between 20-30 grams of sugar per cup. The best thing to do is read the label first and looks for "100% juice unsweetened" which has no added sugar.
5.BBQ and other sauces (3 teaspoons in 2 Tablespoon)
Adding sauces like barbecue, teriyaki, and jerk to grilled meats can add mega flavor with minimal fat, but in some products, sugars can account for a whopping 80 percent of the calories. A skimpy two tablespoon serving of barbecue sauce can have 12 grams of sugar. That's like eating almost three teaspoons-worth of sugar. Instead, make your own sauce and cut the sugar. If you're eating out, ask for the sauce to the side so you can control the amount
It may seem impossible to find healthy alternatives. Here are a few of my tips for you: (Keep in mind that 4g of sugar is equal to 1-teaspoon of sugar.)
AVOID PROCESSED FOOD
AVOID FROZEN MEALS
BAN FRUIT YOGHURT
BAN SUGARY CEREALS
AVOID THE INNER AISLES OF THE GROCERY STORE (that’s where most processed and packaged food lie)
BUY WHOLE FOODS, MOSTLY FRESH VEGETABLES
AND LAST: Teach your kids that “SUGAR IS NOT YOUR FRIEND”. EMPOWER & EDUCATE your child to make the right choices.
Sweet snacks can be healthy only if you can make them at home and have control over the ingredients. Make them with your kids and show them the joy of creating your own nourishment.
Try this great recipe for cookies. These cookies are delicious, healthy, chewy, free of refined sugar and loaded with vitamins. Deliciously Ella’s website offers amazing, healthy recipes that are also tasty.
Carrot Cake cookies:
By Deliciously Ella
270g of oats
3 ripe bananas (about 340g)
3 red apples (about 350g)
2 carrots (200g)
150g of sultanas
3 tablespoons of date syrup
2 tbs of nut butter – peanut butter is especially good (although you can ignore the nut butter totally if you don’t eat nuts)
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
3 teaspoons of cinnamon
1 teaspoons of nutmeg
1 teaspoon of ground ginger
Preheat the oven to 200C
Grate the apples and carrots (no need to peel them) and mash the bananas. Then mix them with all the remaining ingredients in a bowl.
Grease a baking tray with coconut oil.
Scoop a heaped tablespoon of the mix and pat it into flat cookies shape on the tray, do this until all the mixture has been used. Try to get an even amount of sultanas in each cookie as those that are heavier with sultanas are more likely to burn. The mixture should make about 25 cookies.
Then bake the cookies for about 30 minutes until they turn golden brown, at this point take them out the oven and let them cool slightly.