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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Sugar is sweet and so are you

Children crave sweets for energy since they are more active typically than adults and because their bodies are growing. Once growth is complete, sugar can do more harm than good to our bodies so as adults we need to curb our sugar consumption.

Here in lies the issue we all struggle with. Since children are influenced easily liking what is what is familiar to them and tastes good especially when given as a reward or treat by an adult, the child forms a positive emotional connection with what they eat and it lasts for a lifetime. As adults, we want to limit sweets to kids because we don't want them to "learn" to eat empty calories and associate this behavior with being good to themselves when in fact, eaten in excess can be quite negative. We want our children to be healthy and be good to themselves which means being able to say no to sweets if they are overweight. Too much of anything isn't being good to oneself. So too much of a positive experience can turn negative. The crux of the issue is teaching our children how to set limits so we are eating appropriately and ultimately being good to ourselves. Since food is always around us we need to learn from an early age about how much to eat, moderation and making good choices.

Basics : 10,000 steps and lots of water

When I'm frustrated with my weight loss, I start again with the basics of eating well and then do one thing differently. For me, it's sticking to a high protein diet from lean meat, fish or whey isolates. 1) no sugar, 2) no dairy and 3) no wheat. 5 servings of fruit is a must. I eat some greens, lots of reds, and some brown or white daily (lean protein and some oatmeal or egg white for breakfast). I take fish oil capsules, Vitamin D, Cal/Mag and a multivitamin daily.

Oh did I mention 10,000 steps. I struggle daily to get in the exercise.

I keep a diary and look at the nutritional profile of diet on http://www.myfitnesspal.com/

Keeping it interesting is easy enough through variety and no or low calorie condiments such as flavored vinegars, or basting with sauces used sparingly for flavor. For example, if I'm missing the taste of dairy, I'll use tablespoon of goat cheese or yogurt in a recipe.

I wish there was a magic formula for my body but there isn't. Genetics rule.

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First trained as a food chemist and nutritionist, my career began enriching a Twinkie, comparing the nutrition of a Twinkie to an apple and studying the role of sugar in the diet. With an M.B.A. and years in food and pharma understanding consumers and manufacturers led back to where I started - food should taste great and serve to keep us healthy. To do so there needs to be consumer awareness. Consumers need to vote for what they want by buying what they really want. They need to practice balance and responsible choices. That's when change will come. Please engage me with your conversation so that I can help you make better food choices that you enjoy and gain a deeper appreciation of food not only from farm to table but farm to health. My vision is to promote solutions to marketing healthful food and food practices.