"Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today.” -- Ben Franklin
Ben Franklin sure was one wise man. Little did he know that many of the philosophical statements he made nearly 300 years ago would carry so much significance today. While he was probably not thinking about how society tends to delay implementing important health resolutions, nonetheless, his words ring true to what health professionals are saying.
“Your food choices each day affect your health – how you feel today, tomorrow, and in the future,” notes the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. The Council also states, “Typical American diets exceed the recommended intake levels or limits in four categories: calories from solid fats and added sugars; refined grains; sodium; and saturated fat.”
While there are many components to living a healthy lifestyle (e.g., proper diet, incorporating daily physical activity, maintaining appropriate body weight), a first step might be to reduce your intake of added sugars, particularly in the beverages you are consuming.
Choosing healthier alternatives to high-sugar and high-fat beverages is an important first step. “Out of sight, out of mind” I say! By keeping your shelves filled with the right beverages, you’ll find it easier to avoid ones with too much sugar or fat. Some easy reduced-sugar, sugar-free or low-fat beverage choices might include:
- Water – plain or fruit-flavored (no-calorie or low-calorie versions)
- Seltzer – plain, pre-flavored, or mixed with a little 100 percent juice
- Lemonade or fruit drinks made with no-calorie sweeteners, such as SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, instead of sugar
- Non-fat or low-fat milk (after age 2), which provides calcium, protein and vitamin D. Children 4 to 8 years old should have 2 ½ cups of nonfat/low-fat milk or dairy products per day; children 9 years and older should have 3 cups per day.
Besides beverages, there are many ways to use SPLENDA® Sweeteners as part of a healthy lifestyle, so be sure to bookmark (or “favorite”) SPLENDALiving.com to get all the information!
In the meantime, among the many valuable resources that discuss ways to adopt a healthier lifestyle, the most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans, released in 2011, is an excellent resource. Above all, three goals are recommended:
- “Balance calories with physical activity to manage weight.”
- “Consume more of certain foods and nutrients such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fat-free and low-fat dairy products, and seafood.”
- “Consume fewer foods with sodium (salt), saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, added sugars, and refined grains.”
My concluding thought is one that you’ve no doubt heard before, but it rings true for those who keep putting off healthier lifestyle habits… “Tomorrow never comes, for when it gets here, it is today.”
I have been compensated for my time by Heartland Food Products Group, the maker of SPLENDA® Sweetener Products. All statements and opinions are my own. I have pledged to Blog With Integrity, asserting that the trust of my readers and the blogging community is vitally important to me.
Sue Taylor is a consulting nutritionist with more than 35 years of experience. She is passionate about sharing her nutrition knowledge and fondness for good, healthy food. Sue will put relevant information in consumer terms and provide valuable perspective to clear up misinformation and confusion about nutrition and food safety.