Sugar is one of the most reliable sources of energy. However, we have heard time and again how too much of it can be harmful to your health as an adult, more so as a child. However, it is difficult to stay away from sugar because it’s everywhere.
While this may be true, you want to make sure that you minimize your child’s sugar intake because studies and real-life cases have shown how harmful it is to you and your child’s health. The best way to go is to regulate your consumption.
Now, you may know that sugar is bad for your health, but you may not be fully aware of how exactly it affects your wellness, especially in children. If you are curious about the harm of sugar in childhood, read on.
The Role of Sugar in the Body
The first thing you should know about your health and wellness in connection with sugar is that it is not necessarily a bad thing. However, there are types of sugars that are good and bad. Moreover, overconsumption of it is always a bad thing.
So, you might be curious about the role of sugar in your body. First, remember that sugar is a source of energy. In fact, carbohydrates, one of the fundamental food types, is converted into sugar, which then enters your blood to be converted into energy or stored for future use.
A balanced diet is composed of carbohydrates, proteins, and nutrients. However, you should remember that while carbs are essential, it is important to consume them moderately. The same is true for other sources of sugars.
What Are Bad Sugars?
There are lots of sources of sugars that you don’t need. This is where avoiding it gets tricky. Food items that are known as healthy to consume contain naturally occurring sugar. This includes fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, and grains.
So, when you consume these types of natural foods, you also intake sugar, in addition to the obvious sources such as candies, chocolates, snacks, and the like.
The difference is these natural sugars are considered good, especially as they come with vitamins, minerals, fibers, phytochemicals, and protein.
On the other hand, processed sugar, or those found in various products, including table sugar, are considered bad. Processed refined sugar is considered empty calories because it only contains sugar without nutrients. These are usually incorporated in candies, sodas, and others.
Why Is Too Much Sugar Harmful to Health and Wellness?
As mentioned, too much sugar, even those from natural sources, is still bad. Above, we talked about how sugar enters the blood and is then acted upon by insulin to be converted to energy or stored.
When your body spends energy, you use up sugar converted into energy. However, what happens to those stored for future use, but are not used? They accumulate fat and contribute to weight gain.
It can also result in various diseases including obesity, diabetes, cardiopulmonary problems, fatty liver disease, and other similar conditions.
Effects of Too Much Sugar in Childhood
For children, eating too much sugar can result in juvenile diabetes, obesity, and many others. One remarkable effect of excessive consumption is insulin resistance, which can result in various conditions such as polycystic ovarian syndrome, which then causes other problems.
The fact is, even children can get heart diseases, which can range from a vast variety of problems.
If you are wondering how much sugar you should feed your children, the answer is as minimal as possible. In fact, children below two years old should not have any at all. For those above this age, less than 25 grams is advised by doctors.
However, you should not deprive your children of sweets, as eliminating sugars altogether is not necessary. Your child can have at least 8 ounces per day, so, you should watch their intake.
The Bottom Line
Watching your child’s nutrition is always necessary, whether it is with sugars or other foods. You want to make sure that your child consumes only the healthiest items, so they can grow up healthy and happy.
Sugar isn’t just an innocent sweet treat, it can lead to major health complications in a child’s life. So stick to fruits for healthy snacks and stay away from the processed stuff.