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Here's the Scoop on Sugar

American children (and adults) use too much sugar. According to the American Heart Association, children receive 12 teaspoons of sugar daily compared to the recommended 4 teaspoons. School children are 21 meals instead of the recommended 3 teaspoons, and adolescents receive up to 34 teaspoons. and 5 to 8 teaspoons are recommended instead. That's a lot of sugar! Think about it. A 20 ounce soda bottle can contain 83 grams of sugar. That's almost 21 tablespoons of sugar in one drink!

Does sugar affect our ability or our child's ability to concentrate? Does it affect hyperactivity? Does it increase feelings of anger or feelings of guilt? Does it restore us and make us slow down?

The general consensus of scientific literature is that sugar does NOT cause hyperactivity. For example, in 1985, Dr. Mark Wolraich published a most influential study showing that sugar does not play a role in ADHD. The same group then published a study article concluding that "some studies have found that it is possible to find better sugar behaviors as it makes them worse."

Unfortunately, some of us have children who have not read this study. As adults we may already know how sugar affects us. And as parents, we may already be seeing some of the effects of sugar on our children. My daughter was just two (and later diagnosed with ADHD) when my dad let her go in a sugar bowl the day we flew home from vacation. He became very hyperactive and very difficult to control at the airport. He wanted to run and keep writhing from my arm (and trust me I held it tight) and ran fast. It was a nightmare for both of us. He is very sensitive to the effects of sugar on his system.

Studies show that sugar can lead to decreased attention. Wender and Solanto seek, but do not establish a link between sugar and aggression. Instead, they found that lack of attention, as measured by continuous performance tasks, only increased in the ADHD group following sugar intake. According to this study, sugar intake as part of a high carbohydrate diet creates uncertainty in some children with ADHD, more so than in children without ADHD.

Girardi and his team at Yale found that sugar intake triggers metabolic abnormalities in ADHD children. Other studies show children (with and without ADHD) who do not eat breakfast do not perform in school.

In addition to the possible effects of attention, sugar contributes to childhood obesity in the United States. It also contributes to poor cardiovascular health, diabetes, and as parents know, sugar can cause mood swings, anxiety, and wait. This may be because a sudden increase in blood sugar will trigger an increase in insulin that will quickly lower blood sugar levels. Low levels of sugar exacerbate the already low levels of brain development in ADHD children and cause behavioral problems. Then you will have kids who are silly, irritable, and not motivated.

Therefore, it is important to pay attention to the sugar content of the food you and your child eat. Get used to reading labels on processed foods to see how much sugar is in the food. You may be surprised to see how much sugar content varies between different food brands. Choose foods that are low in sugar if possible.

Avoid sugary foods such as roasted eggs, cereals loaded with sugars and artificial colors, and other foods high in simple carbohydrates. This will give you or your child an increase in blood sugar, followed by energy expenditure in the afternoon. Find cereals with no more than eight grams of sugar per serving. (All Grain Cheerios have 1 gram.) Serve with eggs, toast, or fruit gum made from fruit. Prepare your child with fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, and grains.

Introduce a low sugar diet gradually. It may take between two weeks and six months depending on the level of sugar consumption in your family, the attachment to sweet foods, and the temperament. Involve children in choosing foods and teaching them how to read labels.

When you limit sugary foods you maintain a stable blood sugar level. This helps keep you energized and alert throughout the day. Provide a lower sugar diet for yourself and your family at home. Practice choosing low sugar foods when you eat or buy fast foods. Fill the refrigerator with snacks like fresh fruit, nuts, and low-fat cheese. Find lower sugar bean butter, yogurt, and natural flavored waters. Even the extra sugar-free juice still contains a lot of sugar from the fruit. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends limiting fruit juice to 6 ounces for children under 7 and 12 ounces for older children. Your children will develop a healthy diet from your example.

Be careful not to substitute artificial sweeteners for sugar. Artificial sweeteners like aspartam are not a healthy sugar substitute. Some experts call them neurotoxins and some people are very sensitive to them. Instead, look for foods that are naturally low in sugar.

When I went on a full sugar free diet for a long time, I felt the buds change and the normal food tasted very sweet. I'll never forget how sweet and sweet the sweet potato I brought to work for a snack. When you go on a generally low-sugar diet, you and your kids won't crave all the snacks. Use it simply as a treat, if at all. For special occasions such as a holiday or Halloween serving high protein or light snacks before the candy is served. This will ensure that your blood sugar rises from a lot.


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