How to Avoid The Easter Bunny’s Sugary Dark Side
Like many silly slasher movies, Easter Bunny, Kill! Kill! revels in its own ridiculousness. But unlike Santa Claus (in Silent Night, Deadly Night) and the Tooth Fairy (in Darkness Falls), the fluffy-tailed chocolate courier has a real-life dark side.
According to Stats Canada, the average Canadian consumes around 26 teaspoons of sugar daily, with men ingesting considerably more than women. In addition to natural sugar there is added sugar in many processed foods that shouldn’t be there. About a third of the sugar we consume is added sugar, which can lead to weight gain, heart disease and diabetes. If only that wascally wabbit did a better job of hiding his loot: When we gobble chocolate eggs and other candy treats, our added-sugar intake soars.
The takeaway: Scale back on sugar, especially the added stuff, during Easter and always.
How can guys cut down? These four tips will help:
- Dark chocolate: We won’t tell you to forego candy completely (we’re Don’t Change Much after all), but you can choose a dark chocolate bar (with 70 percent or more cacao) to satisfy your cravings without a nasty sugar crash.
- Just add water: Soda pop and fruit juices account for about a third of our daily sugar intake! If you dilute your morning OJ with water — say, by going half-and-half — you’ll cut sugar intake in half, too. If the fizz of pop is what you crave, make your own pop by sipping on plain soda water with a slice of citrus. How about those sports drinks? Notoriously high in sugar, moderation is key when it comes to sports drinks. Remember to always check the label and avoid ones with hard-to-pronounce stuff.
- Sweeten naturally: Added sugar sneaks in even when guys are trying to eat nutritious foods. Frosted cereals, for instance, are packed with it. Fruit-on-the-bottom yogurts, too. The key here is to go for an unsweetened base —steel-cut oats, plain yogurt — and then jazz it up with natural sweeteners such as blueberries, or add flavour with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
- Snack on whole foods: Instead of scarfing down chocolate bars, doughnuts and cookies — not to mention leftover Easter eggs — choose nuts, fibre-rich fruits such as dried apples, pears and berries, and whole grains like popcorn. Or concoct a trail mix that combines these items.
- Eat more often: Eating smaller, fibre-rich meals and snacks every two to three hours stave off the blood-sugar dips that can lead to sugar binges.
So take that, Easter Bunny! You can hop, but you can’t hide (the sugar)…