As a parent, I remember how hard it was to balance feeding my sons foods that were nutritious and also appealing. I cored apples and sliced them into thin “apple doughnuts” and placed chex or flake cereal on top of banana slices to make “banana boats”. Remember you are the first and most influential food model for your children.
A recent study1 argues that the health detriments of sugar, and fructose specifically, are independent of its caloric value or affects on weight. The study included 43 (Latino and African-American) kiddos who were given a sugar-restricted diet for 9 days. These kids were diagnosed as obese and had at least one other chronic metabolic disorder, such as high triglyceride levels, a marker of fatty liver or hypertension.
The sugar restricted meals they ate instead were “child friendly” and consisted of a variety of starches that were low or no sugar added processed foods. Think starches like pizza, bean burritos, baked potatoes, turkey hot dogs, chips and popcorn. These foods were substituted for the sugar in order to maintain the same amount of calories consumed. All of the biomarkers were taken before and after the study. The results showed that by the end of the study all short-term measures of metabolic health had significantly improved without having to restrict caloric intake. So the net is simply that if sugar is nixed from the diet while continuing to eat the same amount of food your child’s health significantly improves in just a bit over a week’s time. An easy change toward better health don’t you think?
Of course future studies are needed to determine if this is a long-term fix. And other studies need to be done on other populations and ages as well. But hey, whether you or your family struggle with obesity or not it might be an interesting 9-day experiment to see if you too experience feeling the experience of improved health-go on give it a go ….
From sugarscience.org-How key metabolic markers for disease can be changed by cutting sugar in a child’s diet in just 9 days-by Mary C. Wiley
Sugar Slash Tip:
Make preparing meals/snacks and eating food fun for kids (and you:)