Tag Archives: sugar
Editor’s note: A state judge has halted the ban on large sugary sodas, calling it arbitrary.
As of tomorrow, March 12, your cup may no longer runneth over. New York City restaurants are starting to order new glassware to comply with what’s being called “the Soda Ban.”
Let’s get something straight: This is not a soda ban. Soda machines will not dry up, and the city will still sell this sweet stuff. Rather, the ban forbids the sale of sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces in restaurants, movie theaters, and other food service establishments regulated by the city’s health department. Grocery and convenience stores are not included in this regulation.
So for those of you who love sugary soft drinks, you will still be able to buy any quantity you desire at the supermarket, and you can still purchase a 16-ounce cup (which is equivalent to about 12 packets of sugar). You’ll even be able to buy two or three of those sized portions, if you so desire. However, you won’t be able to purchase a cup of soda the size of a small swimming pool. Although these may have seemed like they were saving you money (yes, we’ve all been tempted when we could double the size of our soda at the movie theatre, for “only 25 cents more), the price paid in health care costs out-weighed the cost of the pop.
Moreover, this “ban” is not just about soda. Other sugary drinks like presweetened coffee, tea, lemonade, sports drinks, and energy drinks will all be included. Here’s where it gets confusing: If the beverage includes more than 50 percent milk (or milk substitute), it’s exempt from the ruling because it has some nutritional value. Diet sodas served in containers greater than 16 ounces that have fewer than 25 calories per 8 ounces are also exempt, but diet sodas are far from health foods.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposal to ban the sale of cups larger than 16 ounces for sugary beverages has caused quite a stir among health professionals, media, and family members. Some of the questions raised include: Will this ban take away personal freedoms? Will this bold move inspire other cities to follow suit, as was the case with calorie labeling of restaurant meals? Will food companies downsize to help Americans downsize? It’s uncertain where this will lead, but there are a few things I do know for sure: Continue reading
I’ll bet that when you saw this title, you knew I was referring to drinking water. Most people assume that they need 8 glasses of water a day, but that recommendation should not be based upon a one-size-fits-all prescription. In many cases, this amount is underestimated.
Water is essential for everyone. Every system in your body depends on water, the vehicle that carries nutrients to your cells and carries toxins away. There is no other nutrient that is so essential to health and yet contains absolutely no calories, protein, fat, carbs, sodium, sugar, additives, or preservatives. Although you know I’m always complaining about the misuse and overuse of the word, “natural” on food labels, water is truly a natural food.
So how much water do you really need? This answer depends on your age, where you live, your state of health, your activity level, and how you live your life. Your body needs to replenish the water it loses from perspiration, breath, urine and bowel movements. The elderly may need more water due to a decreased ability to detect thirst with age. In fact, I have found that some older adults purposely try not to drink water because they don’t want to urinate as frequently. It is also particularly important to pay attention to your fluid needs if you live in a warm climate or if you’re exercising, you have to replace fluids regularly to prevent dehydration (see symptoms of dehydration in my previous blog.)
The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake (AI) for men is approximately 3 liters (about 13 cups) of total beverages a day. The AI for women is 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total beverages a day. Although any beverage hydrates, no beverage excels at this job as water. You’ll find that sugary beverages rarely quench thirst as well as water and sweet drinks come in concert with unwanted calories and without nutritional value. In fact, studies have shown that if you swap one sugared beverage a day for a year for water, you can save hundreds of calories. By doing this simple exchange, not only will you not gain weight, but you can gain greater a sense of well-being.
Why not take the Nestle Pure Life Hydration movement and pledge to make a simple switch and swap? Go to www.facebook.com/nestlepurelife and see what a difference drinking water will make in your life.
Recently, journalists and scientists have attempted to explain why Americans are bursting at the seams. While they movingly described the challenges and issues in fighting fat, they may have left out one of the critical components of those who succeed.
In The New York Times Magazine story, ‘The Fat Trap,’ Tara Parker-Pope shared her heartfelt and personal account on the profound impact genetics and the home environment play. Parker-Pope conveyed her frustration: “What is clear is that some people appear to be prone to accumulating extra fat while others seem to be protected against it.”
In other words, there is science behind why obesity may run in the family. If obese parents raised you and their pantry was stocked with fat- and sugar-laden foods, there is a greater chance that you too have struggled with your weight. But there are people who grew up in similar environments and have managed, with difficulty and diligence, to wear a trim frame.
She also noted the results of a study that showed, “some people were more likely to eat fatty foods, presumably because they thought being fat was their genetic destiny and saw no sense in fighting it.” That approach is like putting out a welcome mat to heredity-related diseases like diabetes and heart disease when in fact, we may not be able to pick our parents, but we can pick what goes on our plates. Continue reading
Several stories have made the news over the past week that shine a light on the nutrition needs of our children. Here’s my breakdown of the broadcasts:
- Want some cereal with that sugar? Believe it or not, every 4 grams of sugar in your cereal is equal to having 1 teaspoon of sugar. So if your breakfast fave has 16 grams of sugar, that’s the same as you dumping 4 packets of the sweet stuff in your bowl. Well General Mills announced that they intend to reduce sugar in cereals advertised to children to single-digit grams per serving. Researchers at Yale’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity found that cereals marketed directly to children have 85 percent more sugar, 65 percent less fiber, and 60 percent more sodium than cereals marketed for adult consumption. Although we don’t know exactly when this change will actually appear on your supermarket shelves, be sure to check your food labels to make the smartest choices. (So…Read It Before You Eat It!)
In the meantime, here’s a great sugar-slashing tip: if your kids badger you to buy cereals that are high in sugar, combine them with a cereal that contains only 1 gram of sugar (like Cheerios in the yellow box.) This will cut sugar in half without having a big impact on taste.
- Kids have more of a salt tooth than a fat or sweet tooth. A recent study published in British Journal of Nutrition showed that levels of fat and sugar could be lowered in foods for children without having as much of an impact on palatability as when the salt content of foods were reduced. Although this is not a green light to start shakin’ it at the table, a pinch of salt may make green veggies more appealing. Remember that over 70% of the sodium we get in the diet comes from processed foods (that are also high in fat and sugar), and not the salt used in cooking.
- The government finally adopted a program that gets with the program. Last week, with First Lady Michelle Obama at his side, President Obama signed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act 2010. Mrs. Obama underscored that, “In the wealthiest nation on Earth, all children should have the basic nutrition they need to learn and grow and to pursue their dreams, because in the end, nothing is more important than the health and well-being of our children.” The goal of this act is to improve school meals, support farmers through Farm to School programs, address skyrocketing obesity rates, and feed more hungry children. Let’s hope this is the start of cementing an awareness of how strong the link is between healthy plates, healthy minds, and healthy bodies in our growing American citizens…our future leaders.
And although it’s not news, it’s evergreen advice: be a good role model and reap double the rewards — you’ll create a healthier life for yourself and your family. For more hands-on, realistic info and tips visit kidseatright.org.