By Paige Charette
Halloween is just around the corner! The holidays will soon be in full swing. Bags of candy are in our houses for trick or treaters and soon our children will be bringing home bags of candy to consume. Sugar is in the pantry for all of the holiday baking that’s soon to begin, as well! How can we be extra mindful of our sugar consumption during this time of year and carry those habits through every season?
It’s important to start with reading the labels and nutrition information of the foods we consume regularly. Especially because sugar is lurking in your favorite jar of marinara sauce, salad dressing, yogurt, and presumably good-for-you protein bar.
A lot of us don’t notice the sugar content due to all the “healthy” labeling written all over these packages. If we took our eyes right to the nutrition facts and ingredient list, we’d be much better off. I know I’m definitely not sugar free – I love using a drizzle of honey on my plain greek yogurt or maple syrup on my banana and egg pancakes. However, that’s the majority of added sugar I consume in a day. Fruit and vegetable sugar is naturally occurring, most whole grains don’t contain grams of sugar, neither do raw nuts or seeds. It’s all about taking a deeper look into our options, flavorings, and various ways of cooking. Can’t live without fruit yogurt? Transition to a plain greek yogurt and add your own fresh strawberries, bananas, and a small drizzle honey. It will take your taste buds a few days to adjust to the taste, but over time you’ll get used to and enjoy it - I’ve watched it happen with my husband!
Taking small steps and making small swaps will lower our overall sugar intake. Spending a few extra minutes in the grocery aisle to find the marinara without “sugar” listed as an ingredient. Carving out time for quick meal prep Sunday evening to make Chocolate Energy Balls instead of a pre-packaged protein bar, or swapping your Monday morning muffin in the office with these Banana Oat Muffins instead.
It may come easier to you than you think! Lowering sugar in our regular food staples on a daily basis enables us to better enjoy and have better control when it comes to those occasional holiday treats. And if you feel that you need additional strategies to fight the sugar addiction, you know we’re always here to help you with through one-on-one coaching.