Tag Archives: sugar

If your goal is to eat well and/or lose weight stay clear of the CAN’T LIST and focus on your CAN LIST!

I had an interesting conversation with my walking buddy yesterday (thanks DJ) about diets and fitness regimens that either restrict certain foods or give you that all or nothing doctrine, such as you CAN”T eat carbs, protein, burgers or ice cream. There are also the CAN’Ts  you make up yourself, for example I CAN’T find time to workout, run a half marathon, do a spin class or boot camp. Here’s and idea use a CAN list! For some people, an all or nothing e.g. cold turkey approach works, but for most people this can lead to frustration and abandonment of their goal to become healthy.

Yes I Can

A CAN list is based on moderation and dedication and allowing yourself to be human.  Here is an example of a CAN’T and a CAN list.  Use them as guidelines for developing your own CAN list.

CAN’T List

CAN List

I can’t run!

You can walk, then run!

Read this

You can’t eat white pasta, only whole-wheat pasta!

You cat whole-wheat-and-white blend pasta.

Blends are great because they are less coarse and chewy than 100 percent whole-wheat varieties, while offering more nutrition than traditional white pasta. This is a good choice if you are trying to make the switch to whole-grain, but need a little more time to adjust the taste and texture of whole-wheat pasta.

You can’t eat sugar!

Well, sugar is in everything so in this case the type of sugar and moderation are key!

Aim for naturally occurring sugar found in fruits and whole grains while consuming your treats occasionally. Reducing your sugar intake can be difficult, but can be achieved with a little patience and dedication.

I can’t do indoor cycling/spinning!

Yes you can!

As with any activity you are trying for the first time you need to listen to your body. If you are trying spinning or indoor cycling, you should focus on building up your stamina.  As you start pedaling, choose a resistance setting that provides you with a challenge while still enabling you to pedal for at least 30 minutes. Aim to increase your resistance or speed by a little every time you are on the bike.

The key here is to get accustomed to the feel of the bike and to build a basic foundation for your new cycling lifestyle.  If you are taking a class, let the instructor know you are new to spinning so that they can help you with bike setup.

Reducing Your Child’s Sugar Intake – Why and How?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the United States sugar makes up 
16 percent of the total daily caloric intake for children and adolescents, which exceeds the recommended amount of 15 percent of fat and sugar combined. KidsHealth.org states that foods high in added sugar, such as soda, cookies, cake, candy and some fruit drinks, have a tendency to be high in calories and low in nutritional valuable. Consequently, a tasty high-sugar diet makes it hard for your child to choose, let alone eat healthier food. In addition, eating too many sugary foods can also cause dental cavities, holes in their teeth caused by tooth decay. Sugar is found in most foods, so the key to keeping your child’s sugar consumption in check is moderation.

Here are some tips on reducing your child’s sugar intake:

Limit the amount of sweets your child eats gradually.  Some may suggest going cold turkey and cutting out sweets all together. This plan usually backfires and your child ends up missing the sweet stuff so much that they may throw a tantrum.

Stock your kitchen with healthy food choices, such as fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains and limit foods containing added sugar with little or no nutritional value. 

CDC’s definition of added sugars include all sugars used as ingredients in processed and sugars eaten separately or added to foods at the table. Examples of added sugars include white sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, corn syrup, corn syrup solids, high fructose corn syrup, malt syrup, maple syrup, pancake syrup, fructose sweetener, liquid fructose, honey, molasses, anhydrous dextrose, crystal dextrose, and dextrin.

When possible, prepare meals and snacks at home. This is the best way for you to control your child’s sugar intake and provide nutritious meals.

Decrease the amount of sugar you add to your favorite recipes. I have found that cutting back on the sugar in baked goods doesn’t change the flavor too much.

Offer healthier food choices such as fruit, a naturally sweet snack that also provides fiber and vitamins that your child needs.

While grocery shopping, read food labels and avoid products with ingredients such as sugar, corn syrup and/or high fructose corn syrup. Also, watch out for healthy sugar-laden foods such as:

  • Flavored yogurt
  • Yogurt drinks
  • Sports drinks
  • Breakfast Cereals
  • Instant oatmeal
  • Granola bars
  • Dried fruit
  • Energy bars
  • Flavored milk (chocolate and strawberry)
  • “Organic” treats that have organic ingredients but still contains organic sugar
  • Flavored juice drinks
  • Fruit snacks
  • Sweetened applesauce 

Another way to cut down on added sugar is to limit or eliminate the amount of soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages your child consumes. Stick to water or 100% fruit juice. Even though there is no added sugar in 100% fruit juice, there are still calories from the natural sugars, so you should serve fruit juice in moderation.


The American Heart Association recommends limiting the amount of added sugar your child consume to no more than half of their daily discretionary calorie allowance (discretionary calories are defined as the difference between total energy requirements and the energy consumed to meet recommended nutrient intakes).

That means preschoolers with a daily caloric intake of 1,200 to 1,400 calories shouldn’t consume any more than 170 calories, or about 4 teaspoons, of added sugar a day.

Children ages 4-8 with a daily caloric intake of 1,600 calories should consume no more than 130 calories, or about 3 teaspoons a day. (In order to accommodate all the nutritional requirements for this age group, there are fewer calories available for discretionary allowances like sugar.)

As your child grows into pre-teen and teen years, and her caloric range increases to 1,800 to 2,000 a day, the maximum amount of added sugar included in her daily diet should be 5 to 8 teaspoons.

Women should consume no more than 100 calories, and men no more than 150 calories, of added sugar. These numbers average out to about 6 to 9 teaspoons, or 25 to 37.5 grams, of sugar a day.


Remember, be a good role model for your kids and let them see you eating nutritious good food while sometimes eating sweet treats!


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Consumption of Added Sugar Among U.S. Children and Adolescents, 2005–2008


KidsHealth.org: Carbohydrates, Sugar, and Your Child


United States Department of Agriculture: 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans


Weight-control Information Network: Helping Your Child – Tips for Parents


Are you addicted to sugar?

sugar addiction

Americans consume approximately 100 pounds of sugar and high-calorie sweeteners each year.  Most adults consume 22 teaspoons or 355 calories of sugar a day, while the recommended intake is only six teaspoons or 100 calories for women and nine teaspoons or 150 calories for men.  Almost half of those calories come from soda or fruit drinks that contain sugar or other artificial sweeteners. Are you addicted to sugar?

sugar addiction



US Department of Agriculture: “Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010, Table 2.2″

US National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute: “Table 5a. Mean Intake of Added Sugars & Percentage Contribution of Various Foods Among US Population, by Age, NHANES 2005–06”