We parents have a continuous war with our children around food. The reason? The happy sugar, which is present in more foods than we think and in exaggerated quantities. If you are also in the phase of looking for ways to reduce the consumption of sugar in the family diet, the next time you go shopping, take this table of sweetest baby foods.
Many of the foods that we have in the refrigerator or that we see in the supermarket have sugar, but what you need to know is to differentiate the free sugars from the intrinsic ones, that is, those that are in fresh fruits and whole vegetables and that are not They have adverse effects on the health of children, of those that are more difficult to digest and that may be damaging our health.
We are aware that excessive consumption of sugar can harm our health, but do we really know its consequences? According to data from the World Health Organization, it is recommended to reduce the consumption of free sugars throughout the life cycle.
For both adults and children, the consumption of free sugars should be reduced to less than 10% of the total caloric intake. A reduction below 5% of the total caloric intake would produce additional health benefits such as the reduction of tooth decay problems in children, diabetes, hypertension, heart problems or obesity, one of the great scourges of today's society among children.
How are these figures translated? For you to understand better, the WHO recommended free sugar intake would be: 25 grams per day for adults, 17 grams per day for children between 2 and 11 years old and 0 grams for lactating babies (0 to 2 years old).
Do you think we are getting it? At first I already tell you no, because if you look the sugariest baby food chart And considering that each sugar cube contains 25 grams, as soon as we have a piece of barbecue pizza, eat a candy or drink a soda, we break the statistics!
The same happens with yogurt, a food that, a priori, seems very healthy and natural, and that hides many mysteries. What are the healthiest? According to Odile Fernández, family doctor, mother of three children and author of 'My child eats healthy' (Ediciones Urano), "Natural and Greek yogurts contain the least sugar. However, children's, flavored and organic ones have the most sugar ".
Another mistake that leads many people to consume sugar Without realizing it, we usually associate sugar with sweet foods, but we are very wrong. Let's go back to the table above. Ketchup, that ingredient loved by children to season their hot dogs and hamburgers, is one of the sweetest products on the market. Did you know?
Change our diet It is simple and to make it so that with this change we consume less sugar, too! Here are some tricks that you can start applying ... now!
- When you are thirsty, opt for water as a drink that hydrates and abandon sugary soft drinks and, also, packaged juices.
- Change packaged foods for those who start cooking at home with natural ingredients, for example, preparing tomato sauce at home and not buying the one from the store.
- Increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables in the daily diet. How about if at your child's next snack, you substitute a banana and strawberry skewer for industrial pastries?
- Control the intake of cookies and infant cereals, since it is one of the children's products with the most sugar.
- Check product labels well to see the amount of sugar present in it. To give you an idea, the more at the beginning an ingredient is, the more of it that product contains. So if sugar comes first or second in the ingredient list, danger!
- Substitute for some sauces or salad dressings by salt, pepper or lemon juice. They give it a lot of flavor and are much more natural.
Although we do not believe it and, at first it is difficult for us to imagine it, they exist in stores alternatives to sugar so that our recipes do not lose that flavor, but they are healthier.
- Coconut sugar
In addition to having little glucose, it is rich in vitamins of group B and C. It is one of the most natural and healthy that you can find on the market. It is a very popular ingredient in Asian food and it is beginning to gain importance in Western food. You can use it to sweeten coffee or yogurt.
- Stevia leaves
You can grow them at home. Stevia leaves stand out because they do not provide calories and are sweeter than sucrose. Fight gingivitis and cavities.
- Agave syrup
It is recommended to use it in small quantities due to its richness in fructose. Helps digestion and constipation.
This sugar helps regulate diabetes and, although its consumption is highly recommended compared to sugar, you must be careful with the amounts used because it can have a laxative effect.
Ready to start your war on sugar? 3, 2, 1 ... let's get started!
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