Can children really digest sugar?

Enough has been said about the effects of sugar on our bodies. As health conscious individuals we go sugar free, yet, we continue to feed our children this poison!

Children and effects of sugar

Yes, we are unwittingly poisoning our children by giving them refined sugar in the form of juices, cakes, chocolate milk, energy drinks and bars. We are not talking about one or two teaspoons, but at least 10 teaspoonful in 1 cup.

Why are we doing this? While talking to clients I often hear them say “kids need sugar and can digest it”. Most people believe that the digestive system of the child can take in sugar and use it up to generate energy, but the truth is THIS IS A LIE!

Refined sugar affects kids and adults alike. If we give up sugar, so should our children! Surprisingly, sugar is offered to children as young as 6 months old. Slowly, they develop a taste for sugar and then like all their drinks or meals sweetened. This trend continues through adulthood, thus robbing the body of valuable nutrients, and leading to obesity, low immunity amongst other health issues.

Researchers at the University of California- San Francisco conducted an experiment with 43 kids, most of them obese or having other physical ailments. They changed their diet plan and saw significant improvement in their health. They came to the conclusion that sugar should not only be termed as empty calories but also be seen as having a more threatening effect on the overall metabolic system. Sugar is a deadly metabolic poison. Regular consumption of sugar is guaranteed to damage health, cause diseases, and may result in premature death.

Giving the body a chance to heal

When the body is in balance, diseases cannot affect us. In this balanced state, the body is self-regulating and self-repairing, thus keeping us in good health. But, just two teaspoons of sugar is enough to throw the body out of balance. Unfortunately, children and teenagers consume above average amounts of sugar, thus slowly but surely destroying their health.

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Where are we getting all this sugar from?

There is so much sugar in processed foods that manufacturers try to hide by labeling their food ‘healthy’, ‘whole wheat’, ‘natural flavors’ ‘fruit flavors’, etc. The truth is that they are simply using sugar by different names such as dextrose, barley malt, barley malt, ethyl maltol, maltodextrin, molases, fruit juice concentrate, rice syrup, dextrose, etc. The problem is, the body doesn’t know the difference-sugar is sugar to the body.



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So what should we do? Embrace sugar in fruits and whole food

While the simple sugars from whole fruit support human health, the refined, or extracted, sugars remove the water, fiber, and virtually every other nutrient off the food. Sugar as it occurs in whole foods is not an issue; in fact, it is necessary and should be embraced. Sweeten your child’s smoothie with Bananas instead of sugar, add raw honey to her cup of milk or oats to enhance the flavor.

Unless your child has a medical problem which prohibits her from having sweet fruits, let her munch away at their favorite food, while saying good bye to sugar.

-Pallavi Kumar (Integrative Nutrition Health Coach) and Anandita Mukherjee (Health Blogger)







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