We all know that too much sugar is bad for us, but how much is too much? And is all sugar created equal? How much damage can it do? What about my children? What alternatives are there? How can I look after my family’s health without depriving them?
Sugar – not so good 😕
Fructose in its isolated forms (such as high fructose corn syrup) – way worse!
The other ones to avoid like the plague are artificial sweeteners like aspartame, which goes by the name of Equal & Nutrasweet and the number 921; and sucralose which are found in many ‘sugar-free’ products.
Sugar is now being referred to as the ‘alcohol of children’ because it’s similarly toxic and abused, and the reason why children are increasingly getting the diseases of alcohol abuse (diabetes type 2, fatty liver disease), without the alcohol.
Breakfast cereals marketed to children contain an average of 12 gms of sugar per serve, a pot of flavored yogurt – 19 gms. So a typical breakfast already contains a huge dose.
Not all sugar is created equal
The different types are on a spectrum – the more it’s been processed the worse it is for the metabolism and the more it converts to fat.
So you have your less processed brown and demerara sugars at one end and your highly processed icing and caster sugars at the other. The less processed is slightly better.
Even better again to use maple syrup, agave, coconut syrup or coconut sugar. If you are out and about ask for stevia (a herb) or honey if they don’t have it.
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These are both a lot more natural, and what you call low-glycaemic sugar and are less likely to damage your metabolism by causing insulin resistance which can lead to diabetes and heart disease.
Our bodies can handle these sugars in moderation, and less moderately the sugars from fruits and dates.
When it comes to the other end of the spectrum, the highly processed bunch – even a little is too much when regularly in the diet.
And as far as the artificial sweeteners go – just DON’T go there! 😯
Some of them, like aspartame, are actually neurotoxic and hidden in unlikely places, so check the ingredient labels.
The TGA & FDA can be sneaky!
What’s the damage?
Refined sugar causes an acidic and low-grade inflammatory condition in the body and robs it of precious nutrients.
High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a cheap sweetener usually derived from corn, and regular consumption can really mess up the metabolism, triggering diabetes and heart disease, not to mention the stress it puts on the liver.
Food and beverage manufacturers began switching their sucrose (regular sugar) for HFCS back in the 70’s when they realized that it was both cheaper & sweeter….. disaster! Particularly for kids who are being fed these processed foods by the bucket loads!
And, get this! …. since awareness about HFCS has been growing, they’ve renamed it, in order to trick consumers they aren’t buying it, but something healthy instead.
The new deceiptful name is ‘natural sweetener’. In my opinion, just because it originally came from corn doesn’t necessarily mean it’s still natural!
So yes, this is in just about everything processed, including so-called ‘health foods’ like salad dressings, muesli, muesli bars, yogurts and fruit juices and breads.
If it’s not real food, as it comes from the earth, then it’s likely to have these really damaging sugars in it. And it’s taking a devastating toll.
Behavioral problems, ADHD and other attention difficulties, diabetes, obesity, and even heart disease have been on the rise and still rising. Other symptoms of the excess sugar in kids diets are chronic sinus and cold-like symptoms, reflux and weakened immunity, all due to the acid-causing effects.
When I worked with traumatized youth, a few years back, we were told by managers that we had to give these already damaged children the muesli bars full of HFCS, the chips, the sugar-ladened white bread & breakfast cereals and sweet drinks, because it was ‘culturally appropriate’.
What! So we have to continue poisoning our children because it’s culturally appropriate?
Just because something is a cultural norm, doesn’t mean it’s a good thing, and quite frankly, many of these norms just need to go. ESPECIALLY the ones which have been created by the manipulation of the masses for corporate profit.
With the combination of excess sugar and the increasing vaccination regime, we’re going to see this generation of children end up with some very serious health issues. Some researchers say this generation might be the first to have a shorter life span than their parents.
Some researchers say this generation might be the first to have a shorter life span than their parents.
In the powerful new book The Case Against Sugar, author Gary Taubes argues that sugar is a contributing factor to not just obesity and diabetes, but to almost every long-term, degenerative disease out there, and it gets its hooks in us during childhood.
So Mumma’s, it’s up to us to lead the way and say NO to the poisoning of our precious young ones. The damage is just too great.
Can we still enjoy a little of the sweet life?
Here are some alternatives:
- Firstly make fruits fun and interesting!
When you put love into your child’s lunches, THEY will love it.
How much more appealing can you make yummy fresh food compared to the same old sad looking apple or orange segments?
- Try date syrup as an alternative sweetener, made with nutrient rich medjool dates. If they love their sweet yogurt snack, buy it unsweetened and add date syrup and real fruit.
Instead of store bought sugary treats, parents are opting for homemade, organic treats.
I know many of us mums feel we’re too busy to not buy at least some packaged and processed foods, but supported by good simple recipes & ideas you can easily make simple whole food delicious and exciting without too much time and effort.
- Recipes – here are my Top 10 Healthy, Yummy, No-Bake Desserts
- A great resource if you want to learn more is thatsugarfilm.com. They also offer some tips and great recipes.
Lead the way Mumma’s! They are precious and sweet enough!!