Cut Out Sugar But Not Joy: Enjoying Healthy Treats

At DeeBee’s, our passion is about encouraging everyone to make memories by enjoying their favourite treats with friends and family, without compromising on wholesome ingredients that pack a delicious taste. Why not start by taking a classic treat that was filled with artificial flavours, colours, and hard to pronounce ingredients, and turn it into something natural and oh-so-delicious?


Everything DeeBee’s makes comes from real, close-to-the-earth ingredients. A simple way of looking at your food labels to see if the ingredients are natural can be by asking yourself, ‘Do I recognize all of these ingredients as foods?’. As a PhD medical research scientist, I saw first hand the impacts that chemicals can have on child development. It completely changed the way I looked at food and agriculture. When I had my own kids, it made me want to keep the food in our home real.


I also didn't want to rob my kids of the joy that can come from getting a fun treat now and again.  Food can be so joyful - especially when shared around an occasion or a celebration.  Little did i know it would be so hard to find treats that met in the middle of that.  It seemed to be either loaded with sugar and preservatives, or on the 'functional' food spectrum - with taste often being the thing sacrificed.


One of the main ingredients parents look out for in their kid’s foods is sugar. Not all sugars are created equal - sugars can be naturally occurring or artificially made, highly processed or minimally processed. While they may look the same on your food label, the way your body metabolizes them couldn’t be more different.


From a scientific perspective, the body metabolizes most naturally occurring sugars relatively the same. So, whether you’re eating honey, unrefined cane sugar, or grape juice, your body is processing it in much the same way. There may be added benefits of vitamin and mineral content from some natural sugars vs other natural foods, but as an energy source, a natural sugar is a natural sugar. Natural sources of sugar are digested slower and help you feel full for longer. It also helps keep your metabolism stable. 


Refined sugar, or sucrose, comes from sugar cane or sugar beets, which are processed to extract the sugar.  Food manufacturers then add the chemically produced sugar, typically high-fructose corn syrup, into many packaged foods. The body breaks down refined sugar rapidly, which causes insulin and blood sugar levels to skyrocket. Since it is digested quickly, you don’t feel full after you’re done eating, regardless of how much you ate. Increased consumption of refined sugar has been linked to the rise in obesity rates, which is associated with higher risks of cancer.1 The tricky thing about refined sugar is that it has a way of showing up in all sorts of food products - not just sweet ones! This makes it all the more important to read food labels and check ingredients.


We really aren’t meant to eat a ton of sugar. The recommended intake for Men: 150 calories per day (37.5 grams or 9 teaspoons) Women: 100 calories per day (25 grams or 6 teaspoons). This is why moderation is important and why at DeeBee’s we always try to keep our treats under 8 grams per serving - and with our SuperFruit Freezies, all of it comes naturally from fruit.


To put sugar amounts in perspective, a medium banana has 12g sugars, a medium apple has about 10, and 1 cup of grapes has about 23g of sugars.


Now, just because I know about the harms of sugar, doesn’t mean I don’t have a sweet tooth. I still adore the sweet treats I loved as a kid - in fact, this has been a benefit to DeeBee’s because it’s like I have a kid’s palate! In taste tests, I’m right there with the kiddos in terms of what I like.  


My view on sugar is this - keep it natural, and in moderation. I don’t want junk with chemicals and colours, but I also don’t want ‘healthy’ food dreamed up in a lab either. I believe in sitting down and truly enjoying something really delicious made with just a bit of real sugar, fruit juice or honey instead of high fructose corn syrup.  


For kids especially, it’s extra important to keep the sugars low. But I also say - never sacrifice the joy! I’m all about treats that make kids jump up and down.

So if you are wanting to cut down your sugar intake, choosing lower sugar snacks and treats that satisfy is really important. Start with the simplest switch of all - swap those fluorescent frozen treats with DeeBee’s Organics! You’ll get all of the fun, with none of the junk.