According to an article in the Times today, health officials are warning that the amount of sugar consumed by children is much more than parents think. It’s shocking when you think of it in terms of eating their own weight in sugar – but is it? Sugar is available everywhere. There are so many foods that entice kids to eat sugar both openly and in a sinister and underhand way, that encourages an almost addiction like desire for that food.
Why does society still accept this for our children? High sugar foods are not real foods that keep a child healthy, and many of them are not cheap.
High sugar foods are deleterious foods, meaning they take from health, rather than give to health. Sugar is used for instant energy by the body – but the body can get that energy from healthier carbohydrates, fats and protein, without the harmful effect of instant blood sugar rush. When a child consumes sugar, it should really only be to give them energy before a race or a very active past time so it can be used up quickly. Even then there are better choices like fruit, nuts and seeds.
The truth is sweet sells. Many children that have been given sweet foods from birth prefer sweet foods, refined carbohydrates, sugary drinks, fruit juice, fruit purees and smoothies. Parents that consume a lot of sweet foods make it acceptable for their children to do the same thing, so the cycle goes on. Once a child becomes independent, even if they haven’t been given sugary foods and drinks at home, they will be influenced by friends to buy bags of sweets that are ubiquitously available everywhere a child turns. Schools unbelievably, still sell sweet foods. Governments know we should not allow kids to consume sugar, parents know, manufacturers know, doctors, nutritionists and everybody has a good idea as to why we shouldn’t let kids eat so much sugar – but here we are in 2017 – 11 years after the headline “Children grow fatter as the experts dither” in the Times newspaper in February 2006!
Sugar is in the news today due to the worrying statistics of how many very young children are having their teeth out due to the effects of sugar in their diet. What is not always understood or fully explained is why the sugar affects the teeth. This is important because it’s not just the teeth that are being affected. Sugar feeds bacteria, it is generally the bad bacteria that is not health supportive, that feeds on sugar. This not only makes more grow, but they produce acid as a by product which damages the enamel on teeth, especially young soft teeth. The affect of sugar is not just felt on the teeth, but in the gut. The microbes that are so important to a child’s health can be thrown out of balance because of sugar feeding undesirable bacteria. Now mix that with a dose of antibiotics that was given because of a sore throat or chest infection and you could have a microbial imbalance in the gut, mouth and other areas which will affect your child’s health longer term. It is vital to not give your child any sugar or refined carbs with or post antibiotics. Antibiotics kill the good bacteria as well as the infection that the medications are there to fight. A poor diet then makes the situation worse, this can all cause the immune system to start becoming sensitive and worsen conditions like asthma, eczema and sensitivities.
Fresh vegetables are the antidote to sugar as they contain the cellulose that feeds the good bacteria.
The only way to avoid the health conditions created by sugar is to avoid consumption.
Choose healthier sugars to bake with like Rapa Dura or molasses. You can also use dates alone to sweeten foods like muffins and cup cakes.