Here’s an idea to get the new school year off to a healthy start: Go sugar-free for a month. Could you do it?
The Canadian Cancer Society is launching Sugar-free September to raise awareness that excess weight can cause cancer. The month-long challenge aims to show us that cutting sugar intake is as easy as eating actual fruit instead of drinking fruit juice cocktails.
Nearly two thirds of Canadian adults and one third of young people are overweight or obese. And almost 7,000 cancers diagnosed in Canada last year were attributed to excess body weight. It’s a risk factor for breast, colorectal, esophageal, gallbladder, liver, kidney, pancreatic and uterine cancer. At the same time, only a third of Canadians are aware that excess weight increases the risk of cancer.
With these facts in mind, the cancer society is challenging us to savour September and go sugar-free for the month. The campaign explores many ways to avoid added-sugars in food and drinks while also giving people an opportunity to raise money for cancer research and support services. Participants share the experience by asking friends and colleagues to donate money to support the challenge and spur them on.
“We already have several thousand people enrolled to take the Sugar-free September challenge,” says Susan Flynn, Senior Manager, Cancer Prevention, Canadian Cancer Society Ontario Division. “Cutting out added sugar is not as hard as people think.”
Are you up for the challenge? Over 1,900 Canadians have already pledged to give up the sweet stuff for the month and have raised well over $16,000. Those registered for the challenge will be supported by an online community of participants, who provide advice, help and encouragement. Register at SugarFreeSeptember.ca.
Strawberries and (Coconut) Cream Overnight Oats by Chelsey Prince
1 cup strawberries
2 cups rolled oats (not instant)
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 tsp cinnamon
2 cups almond milk
1/4 cup coconut milk (canned)
3/4 cup water
Sliced strawberries Walnuts or almonds Pumpkin seeds