5 Ways to Cut Down on Sugar

Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows that I have Celiac Disease, and I eat gluten-free. 

These days, it’s much easier to eat gluten-free than it ever used to be, thanks to ready-made meals and snacks. You can find a lovely section of gluten-free items in almost any grocery store, and the convenience is certainly welcome!

There’s just one problem I continually find with gluten-free foods: sugar. The sugar content in gluten-free foods is typically higher than in normal foods.

As we all know, sugar has become the new fat, meaning that more research into nutrition has made us realize that ingesting too much sugar is just as bad, if not worse, than consuming fatty food. Sugar in its natural form, found in fruits and in starchy vegetables, is fine and an important nutrient in brain development. What is problematic is our sugar-filled highly processed diet. Look at the labels! Everything we consume has ingredients that end in “-ose” or contain corn syrup. We are ingesting far too much sugar in one day, most of it the product of chemical combinations that are not very healthy for our body.

White and brown rock sugar sticks over heap of broun gugar

The problem with consuming so much sugar is that it raises our level of insulin in the blood, which will have long-term damaging effects such as diabetes, slowed metabolisms, hyperactivity, and over eating. Let us not forget the epidemic of obesity in our society, a phenomenon that people could turn around if they reduced their daily intake of sugar.

A couple years ago, I eliminated all high fructose corn syrup from our home. As I come across more and more items that are “bad”, I continue my journey of elimination – searching for better alternatives and altering our eating habits, bit by bit by bit. Because doing it all at once can be overwhelming!

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Tips for Healthy Eating as a Family

The more I read labels on foods I’ve eaten all my life, the more my eyebrows raise. There is SO MUCH JUNK in our food! Sure, the “junky” food seems easier to grab and prepare, but in the long run, healthy eating is way more worth it!

When it comes to healthy eating as a family, time management and budgeting can make it a bit difficult to get the hang of. Especially if you are a parent (which is really where my brain is at these days), it’s important to foster healthy habits in your children when they’re young so they can carry those habits into the rest of their lives. Here are some ways to stick to a healthy diet on a budget, and to encourage positive habits for your kids.

Healthy Eating Family 2.jpg
 
Find a Farmers’ Market
 
The price for fresh produce at farmers’ markets is nearly unbeatable. You can stock up on locally grown food that’s in season to use for the week or freeze for a later date. At some farmers’ markets, you can find free-range eggs, delicious homemade jellies and jams, and raw honey. Since you’re buying food that’s in season and cutting out the transport costs, you’ll save quite a bit of money on produce.

 
Cook With Your Kids
 
Nothing is more frustrating than preparing a healthy meal just to have your child turn it down. To avoid this, try collaborating as a family to find meals that you’ll all enjoy. Once you’ve made a plan for the week, involve your children in the cooking process. Even young children can take an important role, like snapping green beans or topping a casserole with cheese. When they’ve helped to create a delicious meal, your kids will be more motivated to eat it and their confidence will grow in the kitchen.

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