Many disagree with Mayor Bloomberg’s recent attempt to limit super-sized sugary beverages, but he has definitely called their attention to the issue. Sweetened drinks are making headlines, and sugar is in the spotlight! So, is your sweet tooth truly your downfall?
Not necessarily. The human preference for sweets is evident by a very young age, and for good reason. Sugar is a carbohydrate, the fuel most preferred by the body’s cells and the primary source of energy for the brain. Foods containing carbohydrates include some that may not taste sweet, such as grains, starchy vegetables and dairy products, as well as those that do, such as fruit…and fruit juice. Fruit is nature’s ideal snack, containing the all-important carbohydrates with the addition of fiber and a host of other vital nutrients, and it’s the answer to satisfying your sweet craving in a healthy way. But when you squeeze fruit and drink its juice, you keep the sugar while losing much of the fruit’s nutritional value. And, of course, juice won’t satisfy hunger like eating a fruit would, and you may end up eating additional calories to fill up.
The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans encourage consumers to reduce their consumption of foods and beverages with added sugars and replace them with more healthful options. Choosing to drink water can enable you to use your calories on healthier carbohydrate sources. A 20-oz iced tea? With or without Bloomberg, you can make a better choice. How about a glass of water…plus a fruit?
Take advantage of summer by including these seasonal fruits:
By incorporating a variety of these fruits, you’ll benefit from their wide range of nutrients: fiber, B-vitamins, vitamins A,C, E, folic acid, magnesium, potassium, selenium, and numerous health-promoting antioxidants and phytochemicals.
Fruit helps create a tasty, colorful twist to any snack or meal. Use fruit (fresh, frozen, dried, or even grilled!) in salads, cereal, yogurt, cottage cheese, smoothies, trail mix, cobblers, muffins, pancakes…as the base of your dish or as a garnish, fruit is always nutritious and appealing. Now that’s sweet – indisputably!