There is a lot of medical research about sugar and the links to illnesses such as diabetes, insulin resistance and poor immunity. However, I tend to focus on the mental aspects of food and how it relates to our children’s self esteem, moods and energy levels.
So let’s simplify why our children (and us as well!) can become cranky, moody, tired people from consuming hidden sugars.
1. Sugar makes our blood sugar spike up and sink low.
This can give us a charged up feeling. This feeling is just temporary and often as rapidly as blood sugar goes up, it also falls to an alarming low level.
If your sugar’s too low, some of the symptoms include:
- Shaky, sweaty, and pale
- Brain fogged and exhausted
- “Hangry“ – so hungry you get angry and cannot concentrate
2. Sugar lacks nutrients for happy hormones.
When we are eating a high sugar diet, we are not getting the nutrients we need from things like quality proteins, good fats, energy supplying carbs and micro minerals from our veggies.
Here is a fun fact for you: Proteins contain an amino acid tryptophan and when this is combined with vitamin B’s it converts to serotonin; our happy hormone!
3. Sugar disrupts our gut.
Too much excess and hidden sugar can create tummy trouble.
Our gut is made up of good and bad bugs. Unfortunately, sugar feeds the bad bugs. This leads to things like bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhoea and an unhappy belly. It is hard to be in a good mood, when our stomachs aren’t quite right.
Add to this the fact that our gut makes more than 70% of our serotonin so if our gut is bogged down with sugar then our gut is not making happy hormones.
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Michele Chevalley Hedge, nutritionist, mum, Jamie Oliver Ambassador and founder of A Healthy View.