If your kid is a sugar seeking hummingbird like most are, you already know that sugar brings a fast high and then an energy crash. As tasty as it is, sugar and sugar-based products might give the illusion of fat energy boosts, but also come with all kinds of hidden issues including little nutrition. What exactly does too much sugar do to your kids, though?
Increases Risk for Disease
Sugar itself increases inflammation, which in turn can decrease immunity. Considering all the sicknesses your child likely already has to deal with if they go to public school, you certainly don’t want to risk a disease. To help your child’s immune system work at peak capabilities, especially during a pandemic, avoiding snacks with hidden sugars is a great start. While they need more than decreased sugar to do well, lessening sugar can help them to have less inflammation after vaccination, and can give their immune systems an added boost to help that protection work at its best.
Harms Dental Health
Sugar results in higher acidity, which can eat away at tooth enamel. After those baby teeth are long gone, you don’t get any do overs with adult teeth that are growing in. Taking a chance to care for your child’s teeth fully includes making sure that they brush twice daily, floss gently, and eat healthy foods. Foods such as crunchy vegetables and healthy fruits can help prevent dental caries and help enamel to remain healthier longer.
There have been very prominent studies out of the UK which explain that sugar itself doesn’t cause hyperactivity. However, in the United States, sugar is usually not from the same sources as in the UK, which tested predominantly sugars from beets. The US, in contrast, uses sugars from corn, often in the form of corn syrup or high fructose corn syrup, which are labeled differently but often the source of sucrose in children’s snacks. Sugars/Sucrose produced from corn is indeed linked to hyperactivity, and can cause other neurological effects as well!
Limiting sugars for your children can help in the short term, and prevent long term complications. This can be a difficult change, because sugar feels good to the body, but only temporarily. Offer plenty of substitute options, and use sugar as a periodic treat. Your children’s bodies, and your own, will thank you both now and in the future!
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