What it Means to be Sugar-Free

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We all watch the news and read articles about how eating healthy can help us live longer and better lives-what we put into our bodies is very important. However, food labels can sometimes be deceiving.

When a food item is marked “fat free” or “sugar-free,” some people feel they can eat as much of the product as they want and might think there won’t be any negative effects on their bodies. Unfortunately, this labeling is sometimes inaccurate and is a way for companies to sell more of the same product by only adjusting a few ingredients in the food item and simply labeling it “healthy.”

Most of the sugar we eat daily is derived from beets. Yes, the red vegetable that needs to be pickled or baked and is an acquired taste for most. The reason food companies use beet sugar is because it is cheaper to make. However, this particular sugar is highly processed and when consumed in large quantities, can cause disease such as diabetes, inflammation and weight gain-all of which have negative impacts on our health.

When people drink “diet soda” or consume sugar-free food, most think they are making a healthy choice because they are eliminating sugar in their diet.

However, many large food companies have decreased the sugar in a product and replaced it with additional chemicals. One such chemical is aspartame. This chemical adds the sweetness to a product, but not the sugar. Experts in the food industry and other professionals have found that consuming such chemicals too consistently can lead to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer and more. The human body was not made to break down these chemicals and in turn can cause many health risks as we grow older.

At SALMON Health and Retirement, we have been exploring many foods that do not contain sugars or these harmful chemicals and are instead, better for the body. As we move forward with our menus, we are looking for “clean” ingredients. With less sugar and chemicals in our diet, our bodies can thrive and continue to be healthy.

Food is an important factor in our everyday lives and even more important as we get older. We realize this and are constantly using ingredients that are healthier for our Residents so that they don’t have to worry about making those choices themselves. As we explore these foods more and find better alternatives, we will continue to expand our menus and offer healthier choices. The other piece to the puzzle is not just finding these ingredients but incorporating them in our dishes and making them delicious. Our culinary team is constantly testing new recipes with healthy, nutritious foods and, once perfected, putting them on our menus and testing them out with our Residents!

Sometimes the maze of what to eat and what not to eat can be confusing. Our culinary team is here to make those choices easier for Residents, pointing them in the right direction for their best health possible.