The average Canadian consumes 36 kg (88 lbs) of sugar annually. To put that in perspective, the average Canadian man weighs 84.8 kg (187 lbs), the average woman about 70.3 kg (155 lbs). In other words, we’re eating or drinking about half our entire weight in sugar each year.
Which explains why more than 10 million Canadians now have diabetes or pre-diabetes.
While you’re likely to find sugar in most foods, this month we wanted to focus on candy, or more specifically substituting sweets that aren’t loaded with sugar. The occasional and we do mean occasional candy treat isn’t terrible and won’t affect your health or weight loss goals, but there are healthier alternatives that can still satisfy your sweet tooth:
- Fruit: You’ve heard it before but it’s true fruit is nature’s candy. Oranges, strawberries and peaches are three deliciously sweet fruits and, while they are still high in sugar, they’re still better for you than candy. Blueberries, raspberries and blackberries are packed with antioxidants and fiber and are even better. And dried fruit are another healthier option. Remember that eating fruit is always better than drinking fruit juice, which can spike your blood sugar levels.
- Applesauce: Okay, it’s sort of a fruit, kind of like how ketchup is a vegetable. Try a no-sugar-added variety. One cup only has about 50 calories.
- Nuts: While they can be high in fat, unsalted cashews or almonds may satisfy your craving for sweets. But remember, don’t eat from the jar grab a handful and move away from the pantry!
- Popcorn: Yes, popcorn. Look for a sweet and salty variety that satisfies your sweet and savoury tooth. Flavoured popcorn does have sugar but it will help you feel full on fewer calories. Sweet rice cakes hit the spot too.
- Gum: Go for sugar-free, non-aspartame chewing gum, which has very few calories and may be enough to satisfy your craving at least till lunch or dinner.
- All right, candy: If you insist on eating actual candy, these options are healthier anything with dark chocolate, chocolate-covered almonds, Twizzlers or Red Vines and Hershey Kisses (but only a few!)
What are your favourite non-candy candies? Tell us about them in the Shop Talk Blog community forum!
Did you know: Instead of ice cream…
Try frozen grapes! Simply rinse, dry and de-stem them, place them on a backing sheet lined with wax paper, wait four hours then eat a handful right from the freezer. Heaven! (Source)