Aside from being the first month in the new year, that special time for making get-healthier resolutions, January also comes on the heels of December — when most people eat and drink “whatever they want” as they move from one holiday party to another, leaving cookie crumbs in their wake. Unfortunately for those of us with a sweet tooth, a big slice of grandma’s rum cake doesn’t pack the same nutritional punch as a naturally sweetened apple, orange, or strawberry. But ‘tis the season, right?
Why Build Sugar Awareness?
Even so, it’s important to be aware of how we’re fueling our bodies and how that fuel, especially if it’s laden with refined sugars, is making us feel. According to SugarAwarness.com, the average American consumes 150-170 pounds of refined sugars in one year — and considering there are 120 teaspoons in one pound of sugar, we’re indulging in the frosty malt-filled ballpark of an impressive (one moment....checking the calculator) 19,200 teaspoons annually.
It’s no wonder organizations like the US’s SugarAwareness and the UK’s Action on Sugar select a week in January to help people reduce their intake of the processed sweet stuff. But sugar awareness campaigns can be scheduled anytime!
The idea isn't to "just say no" to sugar. Barring health issues like diabetes, there's no reason for people to severely restrict or eliminate sugar completely. For most people, it comes down to finding that balanced, happy medium — so we can enjoy sweets (from brownies to watermelon) without experiencing uncomfortable sugar crashes that can leave us feeling hungry, tired, anxious, sweaty, or dizzy.
Who wants to feel that way, especially at work? Talk about a productivity drain!
Helping Your Workforce Become Sugar-Aware
Here are some sweet ideas to help your employees understand processed sugar's impact on their bodies and minds, learn a few menu modifications, and have some fun along the way:
- Distribute information (from an organization like The Sugar Association) to employees to help them understand how sugar fits into a healthy lifestyle. You can send an email, publish a series of social posts, create a tip-sheet, and/or post "did you know" signs around your office space.
- Host a "healthy sugar" party in the office some afternoon and encourage employees to bring in their favorite no- or low-sugar snacks and desserts.
- Stock your office vending machines with more sugar-free and low-sugar options.
- As a special Friday treat, for example, provide employees access to fresh fruit (and who says you can't include some marshmallow fluff and dipping chocolate, too?).
- Invite employees to a lunch-and-learn or a webinar on the topic of...what else? Sugar awareness!
What About Promoting Behavior Change?
Naturally, you want your employees to take action on what they're learning and experiencing so they feel their best, every day. A one-off sugar awareness event can go far to build...well...awareness, but what can you do to support employees who want to replace old habits with new ones — and stick to them?
Here's how Grokker makes it easy for employees to make a reduced sugar lifestyle a long-term habit:
Sue Mah’s 14-Day Sugar Reset program helps participants learn how to enjoy sweets in a more balanced way, while providing great insight into where sugar sneaks into our meals, snacks, and beverages so cutting back doesn't feel overwhelming.
While Chris Mohr's 21-Day Nutrition Reboot program covers the gamut of healthy eating, his video Reducing Sugar for Health explains why added sugar can be detrimental to health and introduces a few strategies for cutting down on the sweet treats.
Grokker has an extensive library of healthy (although not all are low-sugar) breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, snack, and beverage recipe videos — cooked up and demonstrated by cooking, nutrition, and wellbeing professionals — to give employees inspiration in their home or office kitchen. Check out all of our cooking topics!
Want more tips like these?
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