Candy Crush, Sugar Rush

What are the holidays without the accompaniment of the Christmas classics… ginger and sugar cookies, candy cane cookies and pecan pie, just to name a few. The not-so-good news is that these delicious sweet treats ain’t as good for us, no matter how cute they look.

 

Know your sugar

Most of our favourite holiday sweet treats are piled with loads of sugar, which come in forms like raw sugar, brown sugar, castor or icing white sugar, molasses, corn syrup and honey. They are called ‘empty calorie foods’ — food that have substantial amounts of calories but contains very little or no beneficial nutrients.

They are usually high Glycemic Index (GI) foods which raise blood glucose levels rapidly after eating, hence making us feel hungry soon after. These are unlike nutrients-dense low GI foods such as whole grains (brown rice, oats, barley, corn, etc), fruits (apple, kiwi, citrus fruits, etc), and non-starchy vegetables, which are digested slowly, thus make us feel fuller longer.

 

Sugar danger

Excessive intake of foods and drinks that high in added sugar lead to increased energy intake, which predisposes one to weight gain if the excess calories are not expended through  physical activities.

Here are the low-downs of the sugar contents in our favourite holidays treats:

  • Christmas log cake (1 slice: 45g): 21g sugars*
  • Christmas cupcake (1 slice: 57g): 30g sugars*
  • Candy cane (1 piece: 17g): 13g sugars*
  • Pecan pie (1 slice: 109g): 37g sugars*
  • Gingerbread man cookie (1 piece 32g): 10g sugars*

*Source: USDA Nutrients Database

Candy-Crush-Sugar-Rush-4

The good news is that we can still enjoy these holiday treats while managing our sugar intake. Here’s how:

 

Tip #1: Share the love

Enjoy the sweet holiday treats in moderation in reduced portion sizes by sharing them with your loved ones!

 

Tip #2: Read before you eat                                                                                                                                     

Read the food labels before purchasing them off the shelves.

Firstly, ingredients are arranged in descending order by weight. If sugar is listed as the first three ingredients in the ingredient list, it is more likely than not that the food has high sugar contents.

Secondly, do note the different names of sugars such as malt syrup, maple syrup, honey, high–fructose corn syrup and molasses. All forms of sugars contain 4kcal per gram. Au contraire, brown and raw sugar are not lower in calories than white sugar; they merely carry more minerals.

Thirdly, product packages that are labelled as “sugar–free”, “no added sugar” or “unsweetened” only means that no additional sugar was added during manufacturing. The product may be naturally high in sugar, such as canned fruits and fruit sugars.

Lastly, read the sugar contents under the ‘per serving’ column in the Nutrition Information Panel. According to Health Promotion Board Singapore, added sugar should not be more than 10 percent of one’s daily caloric intake. A good gauge is to limit your daily sugar intake to no more than 40 to 55g (~ 8 to 11 teaspoon). This limit includes sugar added to your foods and drinks.

 

Tip #3: Mix for a quick fix                                                                   

Incorporate low GI foods with your holiday’s sweet treats! Consuming both low GI foods and high GI foods consecutively will help reduce the effect of the high GI foods in blood sugar levels.           

Here’s wishing everyone a blessed, happy Christmas and a brand new healthful new year!

Candy-Crush-Sugar-Rush-4

Jean       

Nutritionist, Halley Medical Aesthetics               

 

Other Interesting Blogposts

How to Lose Weight Effectively There is no denying that the process of losing weight is a challenging one. More so in Singapore, where being the melting pot of cultures, brings with...
Go Back To Dietary Guideline Basics. No More Fad Diets! The Internet is a great resource but with too much information on hand, people very often get confused as to what is true or untrue, effective or non-...
School’s Out, Easy-To-Prepare Healthy Recipes Are In… Hooray! It is that time of the year again, the mid-year school break. One whole month to unwind, recharge and get some family bonding going. Why not try out n...
Walk Your Way To A Better And Healthier Life Walk. It may be a less intense form of activity but walking does have its benefits. Besides improving physical and mental health, it can also prevent ...
Too Sweet For You Valentine’s Day and Lunar New Year are festivities that often go hand in hand with giving, receiving, and eating sweet treats. With both events sharin...
Be My Healthy Valentine   Valentine’s Day. While some people dread it, others relish in showering that special someone with their love, undivided attention, and gifts...

Categories: Beauty with a Difference, Slimming & Weight LossTags: , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *