Why Sugar is more harmful than you think

Why Sugar is more harmful than you think
Highlights

Look around and you will notice that children are, well a lot chubbier than they were a  few  decades  ago. While several factors contribute to children\'s  weight  problems, excessive sugar  consumption tops the list.

Look around and you will notice that children are, well a lot chubbier than they were a few decades ago. While several factors contribute to children's weight problems, excessive sugar consumption tops the list. So, it is not just we as adults that need to keep an eye on the amount of sugar we consume, but it can lead to multiple complications in children as well. Let us look why. We as parents, especially mothers are inclined to overfeed our children. A common misconception is that baby fat is good.

A slim child is considered weak and even malnourished whereas a plump is viewed as prosperous and healthy hence reflecting the financial status of the family. Moreover, children are happily carefree about weight concerns. So, they select their food strictly going by their taste buds. Therefore, when it comes to sugar, children see no reason why they should not have more of it. This practise can make children highly susceptible to developing not just weight gain but a host of diseases at an early age.

A recent study published in the journal Obesity argues that sugar is not just bad because it makes you gain weight, but it can bring about other, more sinister metabolic changes to the body. At the end of the nine days, the kids’ average diastolic blood pressure decreased by 5 mmHg; their triglycerides were lowered by 33 points; their LDL (“bad”) cholesterol went down 10 points; insulin levels were reduced by a third, and fasting glucose and liver function tests improved. Researchers concluded that ‘a calorie is not a calorie.’

Where those calories come from determines where in the body they go. Supporting the findings, an article published in the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" states that Rd. Harita Shyam, Chief Dietician at Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad says, “Sugar calories are worst because they lead to weight gain, abdominal obesity, decreased HDL and increased LDL, elevated blood sugar, elevated triglycerides, and high blood pressure. This increases your risk of heart disease. What's more, sugar can overload and damage your liver. Also, all types of sugars do promote tooth decay”.

Moreover, if you have the habit of eating sugar at every meal, it means that your immune system will be functioning at half‐capacity for most of the day. According to a classic study cited in "USA. For instance, always keep naturally sweet fruits such as dates, bananas, grapes and litchi or nuts handy. Not only will they satisfy sweet cravings, but you will gain rich fibres, vitamins and minerals too. “Eating at regular intervals of 2 to 3 hours also helps in restricting sweet cravings.

Avoid processed foods and instead consume more whole foods. Increase your consumption of healthy fats, such as omega‐3, saturated, and monounsaturated fats. Add more fermented foods such as curd, idili and dhokla to your meals. The good bacteria in these foods support digestion and provide detoxification support, which helps lessen the burden on your liver” added Rd. Harita. Making healthy choices is easier than you think. All you need to do is begin now. Eat healthy and stay fit.

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