Recent statistics reveal that we are in the midst of a serious health crisis. The number of obese and diabetic individuals is skyrocketing; it’s affecting our children at even higher rates!
How can that be? I hear some of us asking. Let’s take a moment to understand how sugar affects our bodies. All carbohydrates contain sugar. But depending on their chemical structure, simple or complex, our body processes them differently.
Simple carbohydrates are such that after we consume processed foods our energy levels will increase rapidly and then come crashing down very quickly and our bodies will begin to crave sugar.
Complex carbohydrates, on the other hand, have a completely different effect on our bodies. They are found mostly in fresh fruits and vegetables. Now, because they contain fibre which helps to slow digestion, the sugar they contain is absorbed into our bloodstream at a slower rate. This results in long-lasting energy and fewer ups and downs, so your body will experience less sugar cravings.
If your children have been demonstrating the following, you know there’s too much of simple, processed sugar in their system;
Crash of energy shortly after a sugary meal or snack
Inability to focus/concentrate
How do we reduce the quantity of sugar our children are consuming?
Read food labels: Sugar is usually added to foods such as breakfast cereal to make them more palatable, but you will also find it in canned vegetables, baby food, cereals, peanut butter, bread, and tomato sauce.
Go Natural: Encourage more consumption of natural fruits and vegetables as opposed to fruit flavoured drinks and beverages.
Connect a Hose: Have your children drink more water. Often times when we are craving sugar, it is not because we are hungry, but rather it’s about being thirsty. So, encourage more water consumption.
Educate Yourself: Be an informed consumer. Know the different names of sugars, their functions in the body and look for ways to replace them with healthy sugar from fruits and vegetables.
The more whole foods that are put into your family’s daily diet, the less room there will be for processed and refined food products.