How Much Sugar Are You Consuming?

The average American consumes, 18-23 teaspoons a day, or 2 pounds of sugar a week, about 2.5 times the recommended daily limit. That is equal to 100-156 pounds of sugar in a year! In the last 20 years we have increased sugar consumption in the United States from 26lbs. of sugar to 135lbs. of sugar per person every year. Sugar is the most widespread form of carbohydrate and the most common ingredient in processed foods. Half of our sugar intake come from “invisible” sugars (foods you don’t think would have sugar in them)

Even if you don’t feel like you are consuming a lot of sugar, you are most likely eating more sugar than your body needs. The American Heart Association recommends consuming no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar a day for women and 9 teaspoons for men.

Added sugar is found in many unexpected food items, including sliced bread, wheat crackers, salad dressing, ketchup and energy bars. Soft drinks are largest source refined sugar in children’s diet. Clinical studies show that sugar-free diets are more difficult to follow in the long-term. Sugar-free eating can trigger cravings for sweet foods and disordered eating. Being able to enjoy occasional sugary foods is important (remember moderation is KEY!)

There are many different names for sugar that are on food labels. The trick is if it ends in “ose” it is sugar. Just to name a few: honey, lactose, glucose, sucrose, maltose, dextrose, fructose, corn sweetener, juice concentrate, natural sweetener, high fructose corn syrup. Remember to always read food labels and choose brands with lower sugar content. Also, keep in mind that artificial sweeteners, like Splenda, are two hundred times sweeter than sugar! It’s not ideal to consume artificial sweeteners if you want to reduce a sweet tooth.

If you are craving a sugary food, try reaching for a food that is naturally sweetened like fresh fruit. But remember,  just because it is a fresh fruit, doesn’t mean you can eat the whole bowl and not expect your blood sugar to rise. A lot of sugar into the bloodstream upsets body’s blood sugar balance, triggers release of insulin which the body uses to keep blood sugar at a safe level. Insulin also promotes the storage of fat (linked to weight gain and cardiovascular disease). High fiber content foods slows down process of digestion which results in slow release of glucose.


For more information:

If It’s March, It’s National Nutrition Month!

Happy National Nutrition Month! National Nutrition Month® is a nutrition education and information campaign sponsored annually by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign is designed to focus attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.

This years theme, “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day,” encourages personalized healthy eating styles and recognizes that food preferences, lifestyle, cultural and ethnic traditions and health concerns all impact individual food choices. Registered dietitians play a critical role in helping people eat right, their way, every day.

It’s important to realize that eating your way can be possible when you pay attention to portion control, smart eating, and including all food groups into your diet when possible. Anything can be incorporated into your diet– the important thing to recognize is that moderation is key. You can still indulge in your favorite foods, but pay attention to the serving sizes you eat and how often you eat a particular food item. Also, pay close attention to the beverages you consume! One 20 oz. bottle of soda is equal to one hour of walking to burn it off! Stick to water as much as possible (it’s all we need to survive!) Don’t look into diets, look into LIFESTYLE changes! Feed your body what it deserves: a balance of nutrients that make you glow and feel healthy because nothing looks as good as healthy feels!! And never forget that moving your body with some sort of physical activity is needed in order to live a healthy lifestyle as well!

Promote and support nutrition awareness starting today, for the rest of the month, and for the rest of your life! Today is the day to make a change and stick to it for a lifetime. You deserve to be happy and full of energy through nutrition and fitness!


For more information:

Who’s in Control, You Or The Food?

Enjoy the holiday season this year without worrying about your weight…

  • Write down what you eat — this may help you eat less! 
  • Think water, not sugary, high calorie drinks
  • Use small serving spoons to help you not fill your plate up as much!
  • Bring something healthy to a party or make healthier versions of foods if you are having a party at your house!
  • Exercise, exercise, exercise! Start the day out right and have more energy throughout the day

Remember portion control! You can have your favorite foods, but just make sure you don’t over eat them.


For more information:

Turkey For You, Turkey For Me!

Americans will devour 675 million pounds of turkey on Thanksgiving Day! Here are some tips to live a healthier day…

  • Go light on the dressings, gravies, sauces etc. They can be loaded with fat, sugars, calories and tons of sodium. The smaller amount, the better!
  • Remove the skin: the skin contains extra calories and fat – and is usually coated in butter. Remove as much as possible!
  • Eat before going to your big dinner: A healthy lunch before a big dinner will help you eat less!
  • Drink water: It helps you feel full through the day and will help boost your metabolism
  • Be happy and talk with your friends and family on this day rather than focusing on the food. If you indulge, don’t feel guilty about it. Tomorrow is a new day and Thanksgiving only comes around one time a year. However, don’t just say you will change tomorrow– you have to actually do it!


Be Healthy, Be Happy

If you don’t take care of your health today, you will be forced to take care of your illness tomorrow.” Deepak Chopra

Take these simple steps to help you make time for your health:

  1. Plan ahead! “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Become organized and make food shopping fun. Instead of watching television for 10 minutes, make a grocery list and find new recipes to make for yourself or loved ones.
  2. Incorporate physical activity into your everyday lives: Mark it in your calendar and stick to it! You don’t always have to go to the gym to workout. Buy some comfy shoes and go for a nice walk. Ask friends to join you or put on those headphones to get you going!
  3. Eat regularly: No matter how busy our lives get, it’s important to not skip any meals to get the nutrients our bodies need. We almost always end up overeating when we skip meals anyway. Not a morning person? Pack your lunch the night before to have it ready for the following day. Also, plan your breakfast to give yourself enough time– whatever you do, DO NOT skip breakfast.
  4. Sleep: Your body needs rest. Put away distractions like your television, computer, and your phone. If you have a hard time falling asleep, listen to music, meditate, read a book etc. Find a way that works for you and aim for 7-8 hours of sleep each day.
  5. Be someone who your kids and others can look up to. Your habits will most likely be your children’s habits as well. Become a good role model and others will follow in your footsteps. Feeling good about yourself will give you the energy and happiness you need for those who look up to you. Be healthy, Be happy!

For more information: Keri Gans, MS, RD, CDN


On a Budget? Some Healthy Foods Under $1

Looking for healthier ways to eat, but living on a budget? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Lentils (about $1.49 per pound or $0.11 per ¼-cup dry serving)
  • Kiwis (about $0.50 each)
  • Canned Salmon (about $4.89 per 14.75-ounce can or $0.90 per 2-ounce serving)
  • Bananas (about $0.45 each)
  • Oatmeal (about $4 per 42-ounce can or $0.18 per ½-cup dry serving)
  • Brown Rice (about $1.99 per pound or $0.18 per ¼-cup dry serving)
  • Navel Oranges (about $0.84 each)
  • Baby Carrots (about $1.45 per pound or $0.27 per 3-ounce serving)
  • Popcorn ($3.49 per 9-ounce box or $0.39 per 1-ounce serving)
  • Chickpeas/Garbanzo Beans ($1.19 per 15.5-ounce can or $0.31 per ½-cup serving)


For more information: Dietitian Laura Stadler, M.S., R.D.,

Craving a certain food?

Are you craving something? Well maybe you’re just lacking something! Check this out:

If you crave sweets, what you really need is : chromium, carbon, phosphorus, sulfur, or tryptophan!

  • Chromium is found in: Broccoli, grapes, cheese, dried beans, and chicken
  • Carbon is found in: Fresh fruit
  • Phosphorus is found in: chicken, beef, liver, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts, and legumes
  • Sulfur is found in: cranberries, horseradish, kale and cabbage
  • Tryptophan is found in: cheese, liver, turkey, sweet potato, and spinach

If you crave bread, what you really need is: Nitrogen

  • Nitrogen is found in: high protein foods such as fish, meats, nuts and beans

If you crave fatty snacks, such as chips, what you really need is: Calcium

  • Calcium is found in: mustard and turnip greens, broccoli, kale, legumes, cheese, and dairy

If you crave coffee, what you really need is: Phosphorus, sulfur, salt, or iron

  • Phosphorus is found in: chicken, beef, liver, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts, and legumes
  • Sulfur is found in: Egg yolks, red peppers, garlic, onion, wheat germ, kale and asparagus
  • Iron is found in: Meat, fish, poultry, greens, sunflower seeds

I found this on another blog I came across!

Healthy snacking at work

Keep your desk and the office refrigerator stocked with healthy snacks that will help you curb cravings and avoid temptations..

Almonds: Keep a plastic bag with a handful of almonds in your desk for a snack you can graze on all day. Almonds are full of protein and the good kind of fat, so they’ll keep you satisfied longer.

Yogurt: If your office has a refrigerator, bring yogurt to work. This snack is believed to “rev up your body’s fat-burning engines, speed weight loss”

Peanut butter: Unless peanut butter is a serious snacking weakness for you, keep a jar in your desk to spread over a graham cracker or English muffin. Peanut butter contains the good kind of fat and will keep you full much longer than junk food.  Just be careful to use only a small amount to avoid packing on extra calories.

Apple slices and low fat cheese: it’s a snack “packed with fiber, water and antioxidants” that also keeps you full longer because of the cheese.

Tea: Get your caffeine boost from tea, which has antioxidants and helps you balance water weight.

Low calorie cereal bars: Try to pick cereal bars that are lower in calories and rich in fiber, rather than ones loaded with chocolate and sodium.

In order to help curb cravings:

  • Snack on healthy foods
  • Get up and move around
  • Get enough sleep

For more information: Masters in Health Care

Diagram of Portion Control

The cleaner you eat, the better you perform

I just read an article on how Board certified sports Dietitian Karin Hosenfeld gave all the players of the Plano West Girls soccer team an individualized meal plan to better perform in their game, and it seemed to work! Hosenfeld stressed lean protein, healthy fat, fibers, fruits and veggies instead of quick fixes such as pop-tarts and cookies. She makes a great point how the biggest problem with kids is that they skip meals and then chow down later in the day. Also, she says one of the number one sports nutrition myths is that you can eat whatever you want because you are just going to burn it off and that is so not true.. the cleaner you eat, the better you perform! Keep this in mind with you friends, family and maybe even yourself if you’re an active sports player. Test it out if you’re used to eating high sugary foods or fast foods before a game and replace them with high fiber snacks.

Great pre&post workout snacks:

  • Nuts, almonds
  • Chocolate Milk
  • Pita & Hummus
  • Kashi granola bar
  • Peanut butter on whole wheat bread
  • Apples, bananas(pretty much any fruit)
  • Vegetables
  • Yogurt
  • Whole grain English Muffin & Almond butter
  • Oatmeal
  • 3 slices lean turkey
  • High fiber cereals
  • Vegetable Omelets
  • Fruit Smoothie with skim milk or low-fat yogurt and frozen fruit
  • Cheese and crackers
  • Rice cakes
  • Stir-fry
  • Cottage cheese

Check out the full article here:,0,3923073.story