Sugar was exposed on Monday night on RTE for the true demon we all know it is but we don’t want to admit to it because it’s so tasty. Well sorry my friends as we saw on ‘Sugar Crash’ tasty or not it’s killing us. Many doctors and experts have predicted that this generation could be the first to die before their parents if we don’t get a grip on this and soon!
I used to live on sugar, the lower I felt, the more I ate. I never joined the dots between the two until a few years ago when I became determined to get to the root cause of my problems without the pills. One of the first things I did was dramatically reduce my sugar intake and along with that the fog started to lift and there was no denying that sugar was one of the strong links to my mental health issues, low moods and energy levels.
Knowing this and having returned to college to study nutrition I was determined to do my best and encourage a healthy diet with my son. This was a breeze until he went to school and started going to birthday parties. Don’t get me wrong he’s allowed have treats but not every day. There are three golden rules in my house: no sugary cereals, no fizzy drinks and no fast food joints like McDonalds. Needless to say this doesn’t make me very popular with some parents. I would go far as to say that fizzy drinks and sugary cereals should be banned. They have absolutely no nutritional value and are harming our kids.
An excess of sugar over time has been shown to cause liver damage, heart attacks, stroke, dementia, kidney disease, blindness, amputation and depression. Is this really the future we want for our children? Worst of all this is totally preventable.
Teething biscuits, follow on milk and juice all day long are just some of the culprits that have contributed to this problem. We are one of the highest consumers of sugar in the world and a lot of it is hidden which is why we need to educate ourselves.
I know we are busy and most mornings we just want to get the kids fed and off to school but the bad habits we ingrain in them during their formative years will be setting them up for a lifetime of bad eating habits and health issues. Surely we want our kids to live a life of vitality and health? As a parent you are making that decision for your children right now!
As a nation we are on target to become the fattest nation in Europe by 2030. Low fat foods have a big part to play in this because the fat they take out is replaced with sugar for taste and as we now know its sugar not fat that’s the real problem.
I have some very simple tips:
- Eat Wholefoods, which are foods that are as close to nature as possible so tomatoes not tomato sauce. Bascially foods that have been unchanged from their original form.
- Stay on the outskirts of the supermarket which is in most supermarkets I have been too where the fresh produce is.
- Stay away from processed/packages foods as much as possible
- If you can’t pronounce the ingredients on the label you should not be eating it
- Children up to two years of age should have NO sugar or added salt in their diets!
- If you are time poor which leads you to eat convience food. Cook in bulk and freeze for the week
- Eliminate fizzy drinks, juices and sugary cereals from your families diets
And be careful just because you’re kids are not overweight does not mean they are not being affected. These diseases are slow burners and are damaging our internal organs, which is something simply not visible to the naked eye. As parents we all need to take responsibility not only for our own kids but for all kids. We need to respect other parent’s wishes and make an effort to keep all kids healthy.
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