National Sugar Awareness week happens every January. This week is so important, not only for adults, but for kids. The average American consumes 150-170 pounds of refined sugar each year which can take a toll on our bodies. The best way to create healthy adults is by teaching kids healthy habits.
Oftentimes we are not even aware of how much sugar our children are actually consuming. We think a healthy lunch is a PB&J on wheat bread, but what we don’t realize is that one sandwich alone contains 76 grams of sugar or 16 teaspoons! Crazy right? The most important thing about sugar consumptions is being aware of sneaky additives in food we wouldn’t even realize could have a lot of sugar.
We as a society have become addicted to sugar and fail to realize just how much we are eating and just how unhealthy it is. An average child with around a 2,000 calorie per day diet should eat no more than 40 grams of added sugar, but often times they will eat double or even triple that amount.
The long term effects of eating too much sugar can be devastating and that is why it is so important to feed our children healthy diets and teach them healthy habits from the start. Too much sugar intake can lead to obesity, Diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which can all lead to serious heart problems as we age.
Here are some tips on how to avoid the bad stuff and get in on the good sugars.
You may think a food product doesn’t contain a lot of sugar, but you would be surprised if you actually read the label on the back of the box. Next time you reach for your kids favorite “healthy” snack like a granola bar or fruit strip, flip the package over and see just how much sugar is actually in that product.
Sugar is often put into a lot of our food products, but then listed on the back of the package under a different name such as purees or concentrate. Knowing other names that sugar can be called by food production companies will help you decide if that product is right for your family.
Of course, no kid or adult for that matter wants to go with zero sugar at all, and quite frankly it’s probably not possible. This is where moderation, small portion size and awareness comes in. It is perfectly fine to have dessert after dinner, but one scoop of ice cream is plenty, no need to fill the bowl full and put a cherry on top.
We hope this has helped to open your eyes about the amount of sugar your family is potentially eating. This new year, we encourage you to be more aware of your sugar and start healthy habits to last a lifetime. If you have any specific questions about your child or want to set up an appointment, please call us at (540) 899-2555 or visit us online. Happy New Year!