With Easter candy showing up in stores, the temptation to indulge in a bit of chocolate or brightly colored marshmallow treats is strong. However, for families everywhere, nutrition is key, and many people might be wondering how they can enjoy seasonal treats and springtime desserts without consuming too much added sugar.
Since even small quantities of processed sugars can be harmful for the body, finding the right all-natural replacements can be vital in changing the way you curb your sweet tooth. In honor of National Nutrition Month, The Colony ER Hospital is here to provide tips and suggestions for how to replace or eliminate processed sugars in your diet.
What is processed sugar?
When looking at the back of the boxes of some of our favorite treats and food items, many people might wonder whether or not it has processed sugar. What, for that matter, is even considered processed sugar?
While sugar in its purest form is the naturally sweet fibers from the sugar cane plant, the sugar we see in grocery stores has been processed and refined in various ways to be easily cooked and eaten. Putting sugar cane through this refinement alters how it is digested and makes it a more effective sweetener, but also makes it less healthy for us to eat. This is why we have to watch out for processed sugars when we’re preparing our meals.
When you’re out shopping, the ingredients you should avoid are:
- Granulated and brown sugar
- Corn syrup
- Maple syrup
These are the most common processed sweeteners, and these are the most altered forms that sugar can take. Eating too many of them can become harmful for your diet.
How do I eliminate processed sugars?
Maybe you’re worried about a family history of diabetes and other conditions that sugar can exacerbate. In these situations, you might be trying to eliminate processed sugars as much as possible. In this case, there are many ways you can ease sweeteners out of your diet.
Try some of these tricks to help you cut out sugar all together:
- Crush fresh fruit into plain yogurt, oatmeal, or other breakfast foods to give a burst of sweetness without any added sugar.
- Replace sweetened tea or coffee with strongly flavor herbal teas, like orange herbal teas, that don’t require any honey or sugar.
- Add things like cinnamon, vanilla bean, and dried fruit, in proper serving size, to help flavor your snacks.
- Try gradually cutting back on your sugar intake to wean your body off of sweeteners. If you usually have 2 spoons of sugar in your coffee, start adding only one or one and a half. Once you’ve re-adjusted to the new taste, you can cut back even more until you’re satisfied with unsweetened flavors.
These small adjustments can help you to get rid of sugar altogether. For other snacks and common treats like nut butters, salad dressing, and sauces, try learning how to make your own. This can not only get rid of processed sugars but can also get your family more engaged in new recipes and help you create delicious family legacies.
While National Nutrition Month is coming to a close, the time to think about your nutrition is only just beginning. Making small changes like eliminating and replacing processed sugars can create lifelong changes to your health. Start thinking about how you can improve your nutrition now, and your family will be better equipped for a long and healthy life.
The Colony ER Hospital supports all of our families as they think about personal nutrition and healthy diets. Our facility is open 24/7 with the best in concierge emergency care, and our staff is always ready to help you when you need it most. Share your personal health goals with us by tagging us in posts on Twitter or Facebook so we can cheer you on in your new nutritional goals.
Nutex Health, Inc supports you and your family’s health. You can depend on The Colony Emergency Room Hospital or any one of our concierge-level, freestanding emergency facilities to deliver the emergency care you deserve, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.