SUGAR ME THIS? This morning I would like to walk down memory lane. I thought how much eating has changed since I was a lot younger and slimmer. Today’s world has changed a lot. After I explore the “sugary days” I will provide some healthy information on avoiding sugar in our healthy eating lifestyle but let’s reminisce first. We live in a world of instant this and instant that. We are blessed to have great cake makers and for everyone in my hometown, your thoughts probably went to Holt’s Bakery, home of the sugar adventure land. However, I want to walk some of you back to a time when we made birthday cakes at home. I realize I still make some cakes but now, with time restraints this process has been replaced by the commercial bakeries.
The time I am talking about was when it was usually the only way we had the birthday celebration with cakes baked by Mom and we helped decorate the cakes with the edible sugar decorations as seen in the picture. I searched to find a picture of the ones I remember so well and this was close but not the same. I remember the candle holders with different colors and we had to be careful when we put the candles in them. I remember the precision we peeled and placed the letters HAPPY BIRTHDAY in the direction we felt was the best one. We took pride, we discussed, we had fun decorating the cake and building up the anticipation of the surprise; though hardly ever was it a surprise since we had grown to expect the party.
All of this is hopefully to jog your memory and then to bring you to the focus of this message…..eating the decorations. Talk about sugar fixes; we ate them like we were never going to get any more….ever! How sugary they were but we didn’t mind. We were into sugar thoughts and now I am diving into deeper thoughts……Life is somewhat like the sugar thoughts. We have to go through a lot of tasks in life; we build up anticipation on upcoming events like birthdays, weddings, church events, family reunions and during this anticipation of how good life is going to taste, we take pride in how we place our decorations such as our home, our cars, our clothes, etc. Then, it happens! We have the celebrations of life; our spouses, our children, our families, and our friends. Those are the sugar thoughts of life. When we witness a sweet thought of life like graduations, birthdays, new jobs, new children and for the lucky ones, grandchildren. This is when we know we have reached the time of life’s party when you get to pull of the sugary decorations and enjoy the sweet taste of life!
To Stay on Our Healthy Lifestyle read the article below from the American Heart Association. My thoughts: Reduce the Added Sugar and Add the Natural Love and Sugar from Life!
How to Reduce Added Sugar in Your Diet
If you want to decrease your risk for heart disease, it may be important for you to reduce the added sugar in your diet. As you know about sugar and heart disease, while sugars are not harmful to the body, our bodies don’t need sugars to function properly. Added sugars — sugars that are not found naturally in foods — contribute additional calories with zero nutrients to food.
Depending on the foods you choose and the amount of physical activity you do each day, you may have calories left over for “extras” that can be used on treats like solid fats, added sugars and alcohol. These are discretionary calories, or calories to be spent at your discretion after you have met your daily calorie need.
The American Heart Association recommends limiting the amount of added sugars you consume to no more than half of your daily discretionary calorie allowance.
Finding added sugars in food
The first step to reducing added sugars in your diet is finding them. Unfortunately, you can’t tell easily by looking at the nutrition facts panel of a food if it contains added sugars. The line for “sugars” includes both added and natural sugars. Naturally occurring sugars are found in milk (lactose) and fruit (fructose). Any product that contains milk (such as yogurt, milk or cream) or fruit (fresh, dried) contains some natural sugars.
Reading the ingredient list on a processed food’s label can tell you if the product contains added sugars, just not the exact amount if the product also contains natural sugars.
Names for added sugars on labels include:
Fruit juice concentrates
High-fructose corn syrup
Sugar molecules ending in “ose” (dextrose, fructose, glucose, lactose, maltose, sucrose)
Furthermore, some products include terms related to sugars. Here are some common terms and their meanings:
Sugar-Free: Less than 0.5 g of sugar per serving.
Reduced Sugar or Less Sugar: At least 25 percent less sugars per serving compared to a standard serving size of the traditional variety.
No Added Sugars or Without Added Sugars: No sugars or sugar-containing ingredient such as juice or dry fruit is added during processing.
Low Sugar: Not defined or allowed as a claim on food labels.
Although you can’t isolate the calories per serving from added sugars with the information on a nutrition label, it may be helpful to calculate the calories per serving from total
Keep in mind that if the product has no fruit or milk products in the ingredients, all of the sugars in the food are from added sugars. If the product contains fruit or milk products, the total sugar per serving listed on the label will include added and naturally occurring sugars.
Tips for getting less added sugar
Use these simple tips to reduce sugar in your diet:
Remove sugar (white and brown), syrup, honey and molasses from the table — out of sight, out of mind!
Cut back on the amount of sugar added to things you eat or drink regularly like cereal, pancakes, coffee or tea. Try cutting the usual amount of sugar you add by half and wean down from there, or consider using an artificial sweetener.
Buy sugar-free or low-calorie beverages.
Buy fresh fruits or fruits canned in water or natural juice. Avoid fruit canned in syrup, especially heavy syrup.
Instead of adding sugar to cereal or oatmeal, add fresh fruit (try bananas, cherries or strawberries) or dried fruit (raisins, cranberries or apricots).
When baking cookies, brownies or cakes, cut the sugar called for in your recipe by one-third to one-half. Often you won’t notice the difference.
Instead of adding sugar in recipes, use extracts such as almond, vanilla, orange or lemon.
Enhance foods with spices instead of sugar; try ginger, allspice, cinnamon or nutmeg.
Substitute unsweetened applesauce for sugar in recipes (use equal amounts).
Try zero-calorie sweeteners such as aspartame, sucralose or saccharin in moderation.
Learn more ways to live heart-healthy on Go Red For Women.
FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:
Ecclesiastes 5:18 ESV
Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of his life that God has given him, for this is his lot.
(c) copyright 2012-2018 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission. Third party material is sourced to original location if known for credit reference.