Sugar, Sugar Everywhere

Judi Klee, MS

Judi Klee, MS

With the recent World Health Organization’s recommendation of reducing the limit of sugars in our diet, there is a lot of information buzzing around the web about where all of our sugars are coming from. Obviously processed foods are the main culprit.

I’ve always been an advocate of homemade foods and eating lots of fruits and vegetables. However, I AM a realist, recognizing how society has changed. We’re working more, transporting kids to and from activities more, and generally we’re outside the home more with a lot less time for “homey” things like food preparation than we had, let’s say…50 years ago. It’s just a different world today, and food preparation is NOT the priority of many people. So…what are we to do?

First, if we keep foods “simple,” I think we’re headed on the right track. What do I mean by that? Include more foods as nature designed them into our day. By that, I mean more fresh (or frozen…with no added sauces or flavorings…is OK too) produce…fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains too. Shop more around the perimeter of the grocery store and less up and down the isles. And that DOES mean avoiding the in-store bakery that happens to be in the perimeter! If we focus on keeping our foods “simple” and strive to eat more as nature provided, we’ll be moving in the right direction.

Examples of “simple” foods…More salads and vegetables on our plate to begin with. And NOT dressed up with piles of goo, but simply and lightly flavored in such a way so the vegetables can still be found and tasted. Savor what nature has provided! Taste buds WILL adapt to less sweetness, less salt, less fat, but it takes a little time. For the sake of your health, isn’t it worth it?

How about a piece of fresh fruit for dessert? Chew it slowly and savor the flavor. They ARE sweet, they ARE delicious, they DO have crunch, a nice mouth feel, and good texture. What more would you want out of a dessert?

Planning is important. Yep, I know you’re busy. But somewhere, somehow, you might give 5 minutes to thinking about how you can change one or two of your “usual” meals into something more healthful, including more fresh (or frozen) produce onto your plate. Write it down on a shopping list, so when you hit the store, you’ll remember your intended changes. THEN, remember to actually make those changes happen with those meals when they’re prepared!

Our habits have been established over a long period of time. They can’t be changed overnight. If you expect to do that, it’s VERY likely you won’t succeed. So…just pick one or two meals to change during the course of the week. Or…select one or two daily “habits” that you have, and strive to change them. MAKE it happen. After a change or two starts to feel comfortable and it becomes more of your new “routine,” select something else to change. While keeping your first change, work on that new change until IT becomes natural. Repeat the process. After a while, you can look back and find you HAVE succeeded in improving your diet, cutting out some of those processed foods, and are more healthy and feeling better for it.

Now…how can I help with all my videos and recipes? I’m a nutritionist who happens to love healthy foods. Yet, I’ve owned a bakery/bistro and found myself preparing items that I knew were less than health-promoting, but I baked them based on popular demand. (After all, when you’re in business you MUST offer what people want, or you won’t survive!) So now, at least some people are starting to realize they need to eat better, but are lost on how to get there. It will be my quest, to develop recipes for healthful foods, prepared quickly and simply to help YOU on your way toward eating better.

There is still a big demand for baked goods and recipes for them. Because I too have a serious need and desire to eat as little sugar as possible, as I develop recipes for baked goods, I will give alternatives to make them more healthful, especially with less added sugars. Viewers can make decisions for themselves which way to go. If we ALL strive to slowly reduce the added sugars in our diet, our taste buds will get used to the changes. You’ll feel better for it and will look better too. Do it for the health of it!


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