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Are we spoiling our kids’ with too much sugar?

Are Dads Spoiling Their Kids’ Diets with too Much SugarWe love to spoil our kids, and often sugar is used as a reward when they’re behaving well. Sugar is used in many foods to make them taste better. It’s contained in everything from the obvious, such as soft drinks, biscuits, lollies, and cakes, to the less obvious, such as bread, condiments, crackers, and even frozen dinners.

Unfortunately, the fascination with sugar can cause many detrimental health effects. It’s best to understand how it has a negative impact on our bodies first, and then work at slowly eliminating it from our daily lives.

Besides that old, but true saying, it rots your teeth, sugar actually contains no essential nutrients. It’s composed of a crystalline matrix, and unlike almost all other foods, has no vitamins, minerals, or essential amino acids. It does not contain any protein. If you choose to fill up on sugar, it can lead to deficiencies in the body. Sugar is processed from the sugar cane plant. In fact, if you ate sugar cane on its own, it would be far healthier. But it’s nearly impossible to find in the western world, except maybe as processed sticks, which aren’t so healthy either.

Besides the physical affects on the body, there are also the psychological effects too. Sugar can affect mood, and not in a good way. Sugar can work as an addiction on the body. Kids and dads may start craving sugar on a daily basis.

It’s all in the brain. When people eat sugar, the brain releases dopamine, from the accumbens region, which is a feel-good chemical. However, the more often you release this chemical through eating sugar, the shorter the effect can last. This is why the first night you and your child ate a few cookies, and then the next night you ate the whole bag. Harmless? Not over a long period of time.

Ironically, you can release dopamine during other times too, but the effects are healthier and last longer. For example, you can watch a funny movie with your kids, or you can take them to the park to play. These are healthier activities, and the brain knows the difference between an active lifestyle, and sugar.

You may have noticed how your kids can become hyper after eating sugar, and then shortly afterwards, they become cranky and moody. These are the negative effects of too much sugar.

So, how can you reduce sugar in a diet? Focus on more fruits, vegetables, and proteins. Fruits such as berries actually contain natural feel-good compounds, and have the same effect as sugar, except without the addiction or withdrawal symptoms. Switch out sugar for honey or agave syrup. These are natural sweeteners.

Now that you understand the detrimental qualities of sugar on your family’s bodies, you can begin to replace it with healthier choices. Letting the kids run off any extra energy outdoors can only help too.