Children's Health / 18 December, 2018 / My Baba
Author of The Sugar Detox Plan Dr Mosetter talks to us about sugar and children, and dangers of consuming too much.
Too much sugar causes damages in the brain, kidneys, liver, eyes, and gut. High levels of blood sugar have negative effects on cognitive facilities. Sugar also stimulates the discharge of insulin, which causes inflammation and initiates the so-called “insulin trap” – you add more and more sugar and blood glucose levels are jumping up and down in a detrimental roller coaster ride.
In all people, but especially in children, whose liver metabolism and microbiotica is still “under development,” an abundance of sugar is toxic and inducing long-term damages.
Yes, it is. Initially sugar stimulates a “high” in energy and emotion as an effect of certain specific neurotransmitters which are triggered. Unfortunately these short-term effects will deteriorate increasingly and finally disappear altogether. Thus you will feel the need to ingest more and more sugar to feel happy again. Because of a simultaneous, subtle increase of insulin levels and resulting effects of insulin resistance, the organism is unable to transport the ingested sugar to the original target within the cells. This will cause significant damage to all organs in the body when the cells begin burning up proteins. The result is so-called advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which are toxic.
Children in particular are very sensitive and in danger to become addicted to certain types of “toxic” sugar – glucose and fructose. To get rid of the bad sugars it takes a period of about 4 – 8 weeks during which they are “weaned” by substituting good sugars, i.e. galactose.
I’d suggest nuts, almonds, berries, apricots, papaya, goat or sheep cheese, low-carb cereal, and healthy drinks based on galactose.
For many years, politicians, the medical community and the public as a whole didn’t focus on this issue. All the while different industries (e.g., soft drink and sweets manufactures, sugar producers) invested heavily in advertisement. So the catastrophic impact we’re experiencing at the moment was a disaster waiting to happen. Now the wind has changed through several recent studies as well as the fact that the evidence has piled up so high that the problem just can’t be ignored any longer.
The distinction is between sugars added to a product in the course of the manufacturing process (free sugars) and “natural sugars” which are originally present in food stuff (i.e. in fruit or honey). Most of the artificial sugars and sweeteners are very bad for the organism. Too much sugar from natural sources can be toxic as well. An overload of fructose and glucose will attack the liver, cause hyperinsulinaemia, insulin resistance, inflammation, and a host of other sugar-related problems. A high impact from sugar from fruit juice, for example, can be worse than eating the fruit itself. Honey, agave syrup, apples, oranges, or grapes, among others, weigh heavy on the system. If you don’t want to pass on these or similar sweet fruit and natural food stuff, you can have a little – not too much! – in the morning, but should abstain in the evening.
Unfortunately, yes. Too much fruits with high concentrations of glucose and fructose – including, but not limited to, apples, oranges, grapes, bananas – are bad for you and your kids. In juices – especially in industrially packaged ones – the sugar concentration is even higher so you should avoid them. Instead, focus on “good” fruits like papaya, berries, avocado, grapefruit, apricots, peaches, rhubarb, among others. If you do like your juices, one glass in the morning is acceptable. Try to mix it up with green vegetables, though.
Yes, it does, through several different pathways:
Yes, excessive and regular sugar intake over long periods of time can be a cause for hyperactive behaviour. In a first step the sugar load has an energising effect on children – but too much in a short period of time. The second step sees an increase of sugar and insulin. Although the blood sugar levels seem inconspicuous, the high levels of insulin cover up a state of relative hyperglycemia. This in turn causes hyperactivity, a generalised nervousness, and a loss of emotional balance.
One approach, obviously, is to regulate through new laws: while the UK is proposing a specific tax on soft drinks, Israel just installed a law which banishes sugary drinks, sweets, and high-fat foods from school cafeterias and kindergarten. In Germany, as well, various communities have enforced regulation which prohibits selling food stuff with too much sugar and fat from schools and kindergarten.
But a more sustainable solution is to educate parents, teachers, and most of all, our children. We have to show them why too much sugar is bad and how they can prevent sugar-related problems.
Dr Kurt Mosetter runs healthy eating and exercise courses for children, and advises leading institutions concerned with the effects of nutrition. Dr Mosetter is passionate about healthy eating and good nutrition, and the benefits these can bring – from preventing diseases to improving success results for athletes and promoting a healthier lifestyle for children and adults alike.