If summer felt as though one too many ice cream cones were enjoyed, starting the school year in a less sweet way may be what we need. Foods that are high in added sugar, like cookies, ice cream, candy, lemonade and soda, are also high in calories and low in nutrition. They do not help kids to feel and perform their best to get through the busy school day and after-school activities.
Some of the latest research conducted at University of California, Los Angeles, discovered that a diet high in added sugar hinders learning and memory by literally slowing down the brain. According to the American Heart Association, kids from 2 through 18 years old should have less than 25 grams of added sugar, or six teaspoons, daily. Not only is too much added sugar linked with heart disease, but also obesity, tooth decay and Type 2 diabetes.
When looking at the nutrition facts label, aim for single digits for sugar—eight grams or less is ideal. Swap out sweet treats with fresh fruit (tropical fruits tend to be on the sweeter side), dried fruits like raisins or dried apples and sweeter veggies like orange or red bell peppers to help curb sugar cravings.
To reach Christina Fava, MA, RD, LDN, an in-store nutritionist at the Montgomeryville Giant store, call 215-661-1025.