Wellness Blog

Healthy….

Websters dictionary adjective- having good health; not sic or injured, showing good health

Wikipedia does not have a definition for healthy.  Only the noun Health- Health is the level of functional or metabolic efficiency of a living organism.

I define healthy: maintaining a diet of wholesome, non processed foods.  Void of sugars, additives, chemicals, and GMO’s.

September is national childhood obesity awareness month.  To learn more about this …

I recently watched the movie Fed UP It’s time to get real about food. It is a film the food industry would rather Americans don’t see.  It will change the way you eat.

American has an epidemic on its hands.  One in 3 children in the United States is overweight or obese.  Childhood obesity puts kids at risk for health problems that were once seen only in adults…like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.  In 1980, Type 2 diabetes was unheard of in adolescents. By 2010, the number of adolescents diagnosed with type 2 diabetes rocketed to 57,638.

Today, Americans have immediate access to foods from all around the world and with over 600,000 items offered in supermarkets it should be easy to get healthy food; however, 80% of these items have added sugar.  Big food companies use sugar and high fructose corn syrup in their products because they are cheap, increase shelf life, and have addictive properties.  There is significant scientific evidence supporting the addictive qualities of sugar.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/24/magazine/the-extraordinary-science-of-junk-food.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2013/aug/20/food-addiction-exist-fat-sugar

Sugar: The Bitter Truth (1 hour)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM

Just a few to check out.

The American Heart Association recommended daily allowance for added sugar is 6-9 teaspoons.  There is almost double that amount in a 20 oz. soda, 14.5 teaspoons.

I admit I have been duped the hypnotic marketing of big food companies.  I fell for the “low fat, better for you” lie.  I was brought up to believe a bowl of cereal w/milk and a glass of OJ was a “healthy” breakfast.  This breakfast of champions contains at least 9.5 teaspoons of added sugar.

The Environmental Working Group, EWG, a non profit consumer research group, recently put out a paper on the amount of sugar in cereal and other breakfast items.  Eye opening!

“Breakfast cereals are the single greatest source of added sugars in the diets of children under the age of eight,” nutritionist and EWG consultant Dawn Undurraga, co-author of the organizations new report, “Children’s cereals,  Sugar by the Pound”, said “Cereals that pack in as much sugar as junk food should not be considered part of a healthy breakfast or diet.  Kids already eat two to three times the amount of sugar experts recommend”

http://www.ewg.org/release/kids-cereals-pack-40-percent-more-sugar

http://www.ewg.org/research/childrens-cereals

EWG’s analysis of more that 1,500 cereals, including more than 180 children’s cereals, shows that a child who eats a bowl a day for a year ends up consuming 10 lbs of sugar. The healthiest choice is to buy low-sugar cereals.  EWG defines low sugar as containing less that 1 teaspoon (4 grams) of sugar per serving.

Breakfast items are not the only foods with an overabundance of sugar. Snacks foods; chips, pretzels, granola bars, fruit snacks to name a few.  A simple lunch of PB&J on whole wheat, fruit juice, and a bag of chips contains close to 18 teaspoons of added sugar.

A spaghetti and meatball dinner with salad and store bought salad dressing and a beverage will total 14.5 teaspoons of added sugar.

This menu of lunch and dinner added to the above mentioned breakfast totals 41.5 teaspoons of added sugar in just one day. More than 4 times the recommended amount.

“If Americans continue with the current diet and lifestyle, within 2 decades 95% of Americans will be overweight or obese.  In 2050, 1 in 3 Americans will have Diabetes.” -CDC

How can we as parents change our diets and help our children?

What an overwhelming task to consider……working full time, overtime, kids sports, homework, grocery shopping, preparing dinner, cleaning up after dinner, cleaning the house, doing the laundry,……And now I have to worry about what food to feed them???

There are a few simple changes you can make to start to decrease the amount of added sugar you and your family consume on a daily basis.  Swap the sugary cereal with a morning fruit, veggie and protein smoothie….

Peel, wrap in plastic and freeze a few bananas overnight.

In a blender:

1 cup unsweetened Almond milk

1 cup water

1 handful chopped raw spinach( organic if possible, in beginning start with just a few leaves chopped )

2 scoops protein powder( Vegan protein powders usually are free of    additives, preservatives, and GMO sourced ingredients)

2 frozen bananas

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

*Blend to desired consistency.

2 Servings.  Each serving containing less than 1 teaspoon added sugar.

Lunch:

Consider making a large batch of soup using gluten free pasta or brown rice, fresh vegetables, and chicken ( organic if possible), seasonings.

Hummus and vegetables to dip; usually orange and yellow peppers are favorites among adolescents because they are a little sweet.

Rice based crackers are a better choice than flour based crackers

Snacks:  Deviled eggs made with EVOO instead of mayonnaise, celery, paprika, salt and pepper.

Fresh fruit of the season

Plain unbuttered air popped popcorn

Sunflower seeds or Pumpkins seeds

Dinner:

Spaghetti and meatballs – A healthier way.  Use chia seeds or flax seeds to hold the meat together instead of processed bread crumbs.  Opt for Gluten free pasta, sauce can be prepared by putting fresh tomatoes, fresh basil, fresh oregano, and fresh cloves of garlic into a food processor then simmer to allow flavors to blend.  Add additional seasonings as needed.

Instead of commercial salad dressing try a flavored balsamic vinegar (Olive This! On Rea Rd has amazing flavored balsamic vinegars and infused Olive oils) mixed with EVOO.

These are just a few simple options to consider.  AAIR of Charlotte has continued to embrace a focus on cutting sugar, gluten and processed foods out of our daily diets.  If you are interested in cutting out sugar, gluten, or other inflammatory foods, consider one of our individualized programs. We are committed to caring for our patients in a way that is tailored specific to their individual needs and goals.