Healthy Halloween!

It's that time of year - ghosts and goblins and lots and lots of sugar!!  Why not cut out at least some of the candy when you can still have some fun "treats!"

Did you know the average American eats approximately 77 pounds of sugar each year???  Added sugars make up at least 10% of the calories the average American eats in a day. Sugar sweetened sodas, energy drinks, flavored coffees and sports drinks are some of the biggest sources of added sugar. Of course there's also candy, cookies, pastries, sweetened cereals and processed foods. 

Recent studies have shown that aside from obvious weight gain, people that eat too much sugar have higher cardiovascular mortality. According to Dr. Teresa Fung, adjunct professor of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, exactly how much sugar might harm the heart isn't clear. But studies have also shown that drinking sugar-sweetened beverages can raise blood pressure. And a  high-sugar diet may also stimulate the liver to dump more harmful fats into the bloodstream. Both of these factors are known to boost heart disease risk.

The American Heart Association's recommendation is that women consume less than 100 calories of added sugar per day (about 6 teaspoons) and men consume less than 150 per day (about 9 teaspoons). Just to put this in perspective, a 12-ounce can of regular soda contains about 10 teaspoons of sugar! 

Eating too much sugar can also cause resistance to the hormone insulin, which can contribute to many diseases, including type ll diabetes.

Bottom line here? Be mindful of how much sugar you are eating each day and remember, even when you're not reaching for the candy, there are hidden sugars in many of foods you might be eating. That's why it's always best to read your labels and to reach for nutrient dense, fresh, whole foods that are not processed or refined. And when you're craving something sweet, have some fruit or even a small piece of dark chocolate. Check out the link below for some fun, healthy Halloween treat ideas!

Until Next Time, 

"Live Now-LIve Well!" and have a Happy, Healthy Halloween!





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