NO REFINED SUGARRefined sugar – the new tobacco?

When we eat, our body breaks down the food and converts it into a variety of important elements, one of which is glucose. Glucose is released into our bloodstream where the hormone insulin, transports it from the blood into our cells, where it’s used for energy. With the help of insulin, the body always tries to maintain a balanced blood sugar level.

If you or your kids consume a lot of refined sugar, such as the amounts in conventional milk chocolate, sugary sweets or drinks, then your blood sugar levels will rocket. When this happens the body gets a burst of energy, which in kids can lead to hyperactivity and restlessness. Any parent who’s been to a kid’s birthday party, where the usual sugar-laden foods are served, will be familiar with the effects!

Our bodies are wise and know that too much glucose in the blood can have a harmful effect on us. So, in response, it releases more insulin than normal. Unfortunately, this can cause too much glucose to be escorted out of the bloodstream, leaving your blood sugar level too low. This leads to the familiar ‘crash’ in energy levels, with kids commonly becoming tired, irritable and tearful. You get the picture – too much refined sugar often leaves our little sweethearts not quite so sweet!

Unfortunately, when we experience a ‘crash’ in blood sugar levels we are more likely to crave the same sugary foods that got us into the mess in the first place. And so it goes on. It’s a bit like a crazy rollercoaster ride (but not in a fun, hold-your-hands-in-the-air kind of way).

Consuming excesses of refined sugar not only affects energy levels, mood and behaviour – it’s also a major contributor to longer term health problems, such as weight gain, insulin resistance and type-2 diabetes.

Indeed, recent scientific evidence suggests that refined sugar is so bad for your body that it should carry a health warning like tobacco products!


SMARTER KIDSHappier, smarter kids

If any more proof were needed of the detrimental effects of too much refined sugar, one of the world’s top universities (Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US) has carried out research into children’s sugar consumption and IQ.

In their study they found that those children who were in the bottom fifth of the population for consumption of sugar had IQ scores 25% higher than those kids who were in the top fifth for sugar eating. This suggests that if you want to improve your child’s chances of being smarter and excelling at school, keep them away from refined sugar and other refined carbohydrates!

And yet, the right amount of sugar is extremely important for your child’s development. It’s the brain’s main fuel and without an adequate supply, your child can’t think clearly or behave rationally. The crucial thing is to keep the supply steady and even.

Theobromine & Caffeine – not so stimulating stuff! >