How to Break Bad Eating Habits
The fallout: A package of candy may give you a burst of energy, but then you’ll be smacked down by a post-sugar slump. What’s more, “a sugary snack is usually empty calories, providing few of the nutrients you need,” says Ellie Krieger, R.D., host of the Food Network’s Healthy Appetite. This, she says, may explain why it’s possible to be both obese and undernourished.
The fix: You don’t have to go off the sweet stuff completely―just find some good substitutions now and then. Unsweetened dried fruit (like tart cherries or mangoes), peanut M&M’s (a little protein mixed with sugar can help fend off the energy dip), and even a handful of lightly sweetened whole-grain cereal are all good swaps for candy or cookies. And since added sugar sneaks its way into many foods―including bread, cereal, and yogurt―read labels and seek out versions of your favorites with less sugar. Buy unsweetened drinks and add your own sugar. (Presweetened iced tea can contain as much as 10 to 12 teaspoons per bottle.) Or opt for sugar-free.