January 21, 2019
How do we get ourselves and our children off of sugar laden foods?
Added sugar is still a huge issue for children. 50+ % of their added sugar comes from sweetened beverages and sweet desserts. Average American children consume 18-19 tsp or 70+ grams of added sugar a day. Where is the other 50% coming from? Unfortunately, it is coming from processed bread, pasta, pretzels, ketchup, tomato sauce, canned soups, "health" bars and NUT BUTTERS and so much more! There is zero health benefit and significant health disruption from these added sugars.
I have found that over the years the best advice that I have for this issue is to attack it in one of two ways.
First, the express parenting method - Keep your house completely free of all foods that are processed and have any added sugar. This is the best and most successful way to keep a child away from the temptations of mother nature's most addictive substance, sugar. I like this method because, as parents, you are setting the example by not partaking in the unhealthy food choices that enable a child to be a poor eater.
Second, the wean me off it method - This is when you slowly dilute the volume of sugar out of your child's diet so as to give their taste bud sweetness receptors a chance to down regulate towards a sugar limited state. I lived this personally as I had to wean myself off of sweet tea when I lived in Georgia.
I had moved down south from New York to attend School in Atlanta after I graduated from college. I quickly learned that southern sweet tea was a local staple beverage that lit my mouth and brain senses up like a fiesta party. What followed was a few years of partaking in the sugary delight until I learned about the negative consequences of the choice.
Knowing that I could not continue to drink the sweet tea and maintain good health, I embarked on a weaning protocol that I self designed. I slowly diluted the sweet tea with unsweet tea over weeks of consumption. After a few months, I was drinking only unsweetened tea. The next time that I tried the full bore sweet variety, I almost passed out from the sugar load. I was amazed at how sweet it was now that my sugar receptors were in stand down mode.
This process has since worked for any food type that I find objectionable and am not able to quit cold turkey.
Eat real food with lots of fiber and the natural sugars will be useful,