From delicious cakes to sweetened drinks, is your kid consuming too much of processed sugar? Then, it might be a good idea to take action since excess of sugar can be harmful to your child’s health. Here are a few questions which will help you understand why too much of sugary food is not so sweet on your kid’s health:
Q. Why is excess sugar not good?
Added sugar contributes to extra calories in the child’s diet with no nutritional benefit. Most of the food items that contain excessive sugar are also those with high amounts of fat in the form of butter or margarine or shortening. Various health issues can occur due to the consumption of excess sugar like: -
- Poor nutrition – Consumption of sugar products in place of other nutritious food items deprives the child of various important nutrients.
- A tendency to gain weight – Sugar is a major factor that contributes to weight gain because of the excess number of empty calories.
- High levels of triglycerides - Excess sugar leads to excess fat in the body. This in turn increases triglyceride levels in the blood.
- Tooth decay or dental caries - Sugar acts as food for bacteria, causing them to multiply and grow in the tooth. This can lead to the decaying of the tooth.
Q. How to identify added sugar?
Read the nutrition food label very carefully before buying a product. A nutritional label clearly mentions the total amount of sugar in a product per 100gms. There is a clear demarcation between natural and added sugars under the category as well.
Q. What are some common sources of sugar?
Apart from table sugar, foods like cakes, muffins, donuts, biscuits, chocolate, jams, breakfast cereals, juices, aerated drinks etc. all contain sugar.
Sugars in processed food items can be in these forms:
Q. How to reduce added sugar in your diet?
- Limit consumption of foods containing added sugars.
- Opt for water, calorie-free drinks or milk in place of sugary drinks and sodas.
- Avoid packaged fruit juices and go for 100% natural freshly squeezed juice at home.
- Consume cereals containing natural sugars from honey or added fruits.
- Consume fresh fruits instead of desserts like cakes and pastries.
- Avoid rewarding the child with sweets and candies for good behavior.
If you can limit added sugars in the diet of your child, you can automatically cut out excessive calories without compromising on their nutrition. This small step can help you ensure better nutrition for your child.