Nutrition with Jane McClenaghan: You don't have to binge on sugar for an Easter bunny bounce
THE Easter bunny is bouncing his way across the land with boundless energy and a basket full of sugar. Where does he get his energy from? I would hazard a guess that it is unlikely to be from chocolate and sweeties.
If you want to have as much energy and bounce as the Easter bunny, I have some hot tips to help you jump out of bed feeling refreshed, revived and ready for anything.
Skip the sugar
I am not going to tell you to avoid Easter eggs – they are a treat, after all – but it is worth considering how much sugar we are recommended to eat, and how much might be in your favourite egg.
The World Health Organisation recommend that we eat no more than 10 teaspoons for women or 14 teaspoons for men. The maximum amount of sugar per day recommended for children aged six is seven teaspoons. A teaspoon of sugar is about 4g or one sugar cube.
Last year SafeFood did a survey of some popular and different sized Easter eggs and here is what they found:
- Snack-size eggs like Cadbury’s Creme Egg contains 6.5 teaspoonfuls of sugar (more than is recommended as the max for a child in a whole day)
- Medium eggs – eg Lindt gold bunny (100g) contains 14 teaspoonfuls of sugar (the maximum amount recommended for men in a day)
- Large eggs – eg Mars bar egg (1 egg, 2 Mars bars) contains 41 teaspoonfuls of sugar
- Extra large – eggs eg Cadbury’s XL Dairy Milk Giant Egg (1 egg and 2 bars – 515g) contains 73 teaspoonfuls of sugar
If you want a little chocolate treat over Easter, go for it. Choose a smaller egg or make it dark chocolate – opt for at least 70 per cent cocoa for a lower sugar content, and don’t forget that it is good to share.
Eat some eggs
Eggs are an excellent source of protein that will help to maintain and sustain your energy and keep hunger at bay, so you will be less tempted to binge on too many of the chocolate variety this Easter.
As well as being a great protein source, eggs also give us a pop of vitamin A, vitamin D, B2, B12, folic acid and iodine.
There is no limit on how many eggs we should eat in a week (although too many might leave you feeling little egg-bound if you are prone to constipation).
Although eggs contains some cholesterol, they do not increase our risk of high cholesterol or heart disease.
The best way to cook them is boiled, poached, scrambled or as an omelette packed with your favourite vegetables.
:: A pop of protein
Protein is also found in meat, fish, chicken, nuts and seeds, beans and lentils, houmous, dairy products – aim for a palm-sized portion to help keep you going as bouncing with energy for as long the Easter bunny.
:: Keep it whole
Opt for unrefined, whole grains like oats, wholemeal cereals, pulses and stuff with fibre to ensure your energy doesn’t crash and burn.
:: Move it
Make the most of the Easter break to get outside and do some exercise – walking, running, cycling, gardening. Being in the great outdoors and taking time out to look after yourself will definitely put a spring in your step.
Enjoy the Easter break and remember to treat your treats as treats.