You might think you’re done with trick-or-treating, but when you’re jonesing for half-price Halloween candy at the grocery store your inner boy may be calling.
Before the ghosts and ghouls start coming out of the woodwork — and treats start mysteriously appearing around the office —consider these tips to avoid a freaky sugar crash.
Treat yourself in moderation:
There’s no need to go cold turkey. Sugary snacks are ok in careful moderation. One bonus with most Halloween candy is that it comes in tiny packages, so down one or two treats and you’ll be OK.
Don’t get tricked:
The same candy that made you bounce off the walls as a kid is likely going to have all sorts of side effects in your grown-up life. Added sugars mean more calories with zero nutrition.
In the short-term, you might get a sugar high and then crash, but long-term effects are a bit more spooky.
Too much sugar can lead to heart disease, stroke, obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood cholesterol, cancer, cavities… The list goes on.
Try alternatives like natural popcorn, dark chocolate or fruit when you have a craving, and stick to water to wash it down. Avoid drinking pop as you’re doubling up on the sugar intake.
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)…
Let’s face it guys, your bowl of cereal shouldn’t give you the shakes when you start your day– as much as we all love a mid-morning sugar crash! To help you get your cereal fix, we are arming you with 2 hacks to avoid the nutritional trainwrecks you’ll find at the supermarket (and trust us, there are a lot of them).
Graduate from childhood culprits:
We all know the cereal boxes displaying chocolate vampires, fruity toucans and ecstatic leprechauns are filled with spoon-sized shapes that are high in sugar and low in nutrition are not helping that spare tire, but what about all the cereals that claim to offer healthier options?
Don’t be fooled by healthy packaging:
Cereal manufacturers are notorious for “health washing” marketing tactics, meaning that they make products seem more wholesome than they actually are. Vitamins, antioxidants and probiotics are all well and good, but not when added sugar, sodium, artificial flavours and artificial colours go unmentioned.
What then, is a guy to do? It’s simple!
1. Less sugar, less problems
Check the “nutrition facts” panel on the side of the box: If a serving of cereal has more than 10 grams of added sugar — that’s about the same amount as 3 chocolate chip cookies — it’s too much. The World Health Organization recommends that adults consume no more than around 50 grams of added sugar a day, and if you rack up nearly a quarter of that amount before lunch you’re likely to go over.
Beyond the info on the box: anything containing marshmallows, chocolate chips, and/or a sugary or honey coating is likely to exceed the 10 gram mark.
2. Favour fibre in your cereal
Fibre aids digestion (keeps you regular), makes you feel full longer, and stabilizes blood-sugar. Any cereal that delivers more than a quarter of your daily fibre requirements is likely a positive nutritional influence — again, check the “nutrition facts” panel for this info. A healthy adult needs approximately 21 to 38 grams per day.
Have you found a cereal that’s tasty and nutritious? Please share your breakfast secrets in the comments below.