I recently read an article in the Washington Post (1) that reminded me (once again) how complicated it’s become for people to decide what to eat!
Twenty years ago, some studies came out suggesting that saturated fats were bad for us. With that research, the war on dietary fats began. Until a few years ago, we all tried to consume low-fat everything, and if you walk down the supermarket’s aisles, you’ll still see a plethora of low-fat products. Not surprisingly, many of these low-fat products don’t taste as good as the regular versions, so sugar is added to make them more palatable.
As time goes by and more studies are published, we’re learning that maybe all dietary fat isn’t bad for us and now we find ourselves in the midst of a new war on sugar. Many of us now know that products laden with high fructose corn syrup aren’t healthy and we try to avoid these products, but it’s becoming more and more difficult to tell if alternate sources of sugars have been added to our food. To avoid the stigma associated with high fructose corn syrup, processed food manufacturers often use creative pseudonyms, like barley malt, brown rice syrup or dehydrated cane juice… At the end of the day, sugar is sugar, and once we eat it our bodies will process it all in pretty much the same way. We run into health problems when the amount of sugar we’re consuming exceeds the body’s ability to process and make use of it.
Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended that people consider limiting their sugar intake to less than 10% of their daily calorie intake, ideally less than 5%. For the average adult, this means approximately 25 grams or 6 teaspoons of sugar a day. This recommendation doesn’t include naturally occurring sugars found in fruits and milk.(2)
What’s going to happen 20 years from now? Will our consumptions of fats have gone through the roof as we try desperately to avoid sugar? For long-term health, the answer is simple. Eat less processed foods and eat simply. After all, eating shouldn’t be so complicated! As Michael Pollan reminds us, we are spending more time watching cooking shows on the TV and less time actually cooking for ourselves. If we eat fewer processed foods, we shouldn’t have to worry as much about contemporary dietary trends. Instead we’ll be on a long-term trend towards good health.
From Maya’s book, Food Love Family: A Practical Guide to Child Nutrition:
Cinnamon Bread Pudding
3– 4 slices of bread (regular or gluten-free)
⅓ cup milk
1 tsp vanilla essence (extract)
2 tbsp sugar
2 or 3 shakes of ground cinnamon
Make Sure You Have: A stove-top egg-poacher (a simple covered pot with water at the bottom and six nonstick cups sitting over top to allow steaming will work)
- Preheat your egg poacher by pouring water in and letting it steam.
- Cut bread into three thick slices. Butter your bread and cut each slice into quarters.
- Crack three eggs into a mixing bowl, add in milk, sugar, and vanilla extract. Whisk it together and you have the custard part done.
- Take a little bit of the butter and place in the egg poacher, and wait until the butter is melted.
- Take two squares of bread and place them into the cups of the egg-poacher. Fill the cups with the custard mix.
- Cover and allow the steam to cook the egg for 5 to 7 minutes. In a separate cup, mix cinnamon and sugar to dust on the bread pudding.
- Once they have risen, use tongs to flip each cup onto a plate, dust them with the cinnamon-sugar mixture, and you’re ready to serve!
– To see this recipe come alive in video and for more healthy lunch ideas, visit our online healthy lunch collection on Grokker.com: LUNCH.JUSTCOOKFORKIDS.COM
A post by Karla Russek Nasir, MD