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Sugar and Your Child

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Sugar and Your Child

Many parents realize that sugar is not their friend when it comes to raising happy, healthy children. Childhood obesity and the accompanying health hazard of childhood diabetes are serious health concerns.

Many parents realize that sugar is not their friend when it comes to raising happy, healthy children. Childhood obesity and the accompanying health hazard of childhood diabetes are serious health concerns.

If you’re concerned about your child’s sugar intake or weight, you can work on diet modifications. These, however, may initially be met with limited success, as the body craves fast energy once it has become used to frequent sugar and carbohydrate “hits.” To support diet improvements, there are natural supplements that can improve insulin sensitivity and function, while reducing the body’s cravings for those quickly digested sugars.

Sugar in the Body

Our bodies turn just about everything we eat into sugar. It is our fuel–but it’s fast burning compared to proteins and fats. If you consume a lot of simple sugars, chances are your body will get into the habit of producing more and more insulin in an attempt to balance your blood sugar. This can lead to insulin resistance, a prediabetic condition. Obesity is also a major contributing factor to type 2 diabetes, which used to affect mainly adults but is now affecting more children. Parents can help their children achieve and maintain an ideal body weight and restore normal blood sugar levels by providing healthy snack alternatives.

Balancing Blood Sugar

Fibre, especially soluble fibre, can greatly improve blood sugar management by slowing down the digestion of foods, reducing appetite, improving metabolism, and balancing insulin levels. If children (or adults) consume too many high-sugar (and high glycemic index) foods, they trick their bodies into expecting fast, intense energy–energy that doesn’t last and causes unhealthy insulin spiking. This can create destructive imbalances in insulin and stress hormones.

If your children are hooked on sugar, you may need to lead by example and make some lifestyle and dietary changes. Don’t buy products containing high-fructose corn syrup, especially soda pop, sugary sports drinks, and candies. Give your children a home environment free of sugary snacks. Instead, stock your cupboards with mini-boxes of raisins, popcorn bags, or natural nuts and seeds (such as pumpkin and sunflower seeds).

Special events and holidays in the fall and winter give children increased opportunities to indulge in many sweet treats. The trick for parents is how to ensure their children have healthy treat options.

There are many good websites–including alive.com–that offer parents tips and tricks for creating tasty and nutritious alternatives to sugary snacks. The treat of having a healthy, well-functioning child will be yours.

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