Has anyone else noticed the number of children sniffling this past week? I am inclined to think that the high sugar intake on Monday (Halloween) is having an adverse effect.
The average American consumes 2-3 pounds of sugar each week, most of it in the form of highly refined sugars like sucrose (table sugar) and high fructose corn syrup. Sugar is in everything, from cereals to breads to juice to bagels to ketchup. And I haven’t even mentioned dessert or Halloween candy!
Sugar has some major drawbacks. It raises insulin levels, which inhibits the release of growth hormones, which depresses the immune system. It also interferes with the absorption of essential nutrients, like Vitamin C, again causing lower immune system functioning. Hence, a sick kid.
But that’s not all. Sugar can contribute to hyperactivity, anxiety, depression, concentration difficulties and crankiness in children. It also causes drowsiness, not to mention weight gain and obesity. One third of American kids are overweight or obese, and that number has tripled since 1980.
And that’s still not all. Sugar is inflammatory, and the latest in scientific research is now telling us that inflammation is the root cause of all major and minor disease.
Children have a natural sweet tooth. That’s ok. In fact, they actually need sugar to grow. But, let’s focus on feeding them natural sugars found in whole fruits and sweet vegetables, such as apples, carrots, sweet potato and squash.
In addition, switch to higher quality sweeteners (i.e., less refined) and use them in moderation. Some good ones to try are honey, maple syrup, stevia, brown rice syrup, and coconut sugar.