Just a Spoonful of Sugar
Just a spoonful of sugar
Twelve hour shifts…and you’re starving! All of that time on your feet and running around, you need a snack! Maybe you brought a yogurt, trail mix or a protein bar, but have you ever looked at the ingredients? When you give instructions to diabetic patients do you talk to them about yogurt, or salad dressings? If you’re confused, don’t worry, just keep reading this sweet blog about sugar!
Cupcakes, brownies, cookies…who doesn’t love sugar? Did you know that the average American consumes 3 pounds of sugar a week and the average child consumes 32 teaspoons per day even though the American Heart Association recommends no more than 9.5 teaspoons per day? Sorry…I digress. The moral of the story is hidden sugars are everywhere and sugar is wonderful in small commodities, but how much are you really eating? Try taking note of the amount of sugar you eat just for one day, you may just be surprised and decide to bring an apple to work the next day! Opt for fruit or nuts as snack because they’re packed with nutrients that will help sustain you with energy for longer!
Beware of the fancy names. Dextrose. Ribose. Sucrose. Lactose. Galaxy? Just kidding, it’s galactose…but those are all names for sugar! This past month I began the Whole30 [I can’t eat sugar, but fruit is allowed] and I cannot tell you the awe I was in when I realized that sugar was in even the things I thought were healthy. Pasta sauce…has sugar. Ketchup…has sugar. Watch out for fancy names and read labels to see the ingredients you are putting into your body! For example, Chobani Blueberry Fruit on the Bottom has 15 grams of sugar, which is about 1/3 of your recommended intake! Or did you know that a chocolate chip Clif protein bar has 22 grams of sugar?
The point. As nurses we are insanely busy. Twelve-hour shifts with little, if any, time for breaks and self-care and that’s on top of your normal household responsibilities. Next time you go grocery-shopping try finding snacks that don’t have added sugars. This task may seem difficult and if that’s the case, grab some fruit. Remember the saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”.
Also…Educate your patients. If your patient has diabetes you may talk to them about carbohydrates, but how about talking to them about added/hidden sugars. Just suggesting that they look at labels to recognize foods high in sugar could be the first step! Don’t assume they know about nutrition or even about their disease process. Listen to their questions and concerns and break down the knowledge you have into digestible pieces so they can truly understand it and care for themselves the best way possible.
By: Justine Fischer, Strategic Marketing Intern at HireNurses.com