Istanbul Okan University Hospital Child Health and Diseases Specialist Dr. Özgür Güncan talked about excessive sugar consumption and harms in children.
Avoid Processed Foods!
Sugars are pure carbohydrates and energy-intensive sources. Most of the sugar taken in the diet is not the sugars found in the natural structure of foods, but the added sugars that are added later. In addition to sugar produced from sugar beet and sugar cane, different sugar sources such as corn syrup, glucose syrup and fructose syrup are commonly added to food and beverages for flavoring and preservative purposes during the production of foods. In daily life, we consume sugar in homemade cakes, cakes, cookies, desserts, jams, compotes and ready-made foods such as fruit juices with high amounts of sugar.
"Excessive Sugar Consumption Affects Children's Taste!"
From an early age, high-sugar diet affects the sense of taste and then encourages our children to consume more such foods because their sense of taste starts to see the intense sugar taste as normal, and therefore they start to refuse natural foods due to this not being able to taste natural foods such as vegetables and fruits. For this reason, we find our children and ourselves constantly craving and consuming sugary foods. Sugar is addictive, demanding and constantly sought after. Natural foods are replaced by foods containing sugar, snacks, snacks and fastfood foods. Nutrition of children with natural table foods deteriorates. They switch to unidirectional nutrition.
Sugar Habit Creates Attention Deficit!
When sugar and sugary foods are consumed, our body produces more insulin hormone. Excessive and uncontrolled insulin triggers cancer, diabetes and all chronic diseases. Sugar affects the brain function negatively by creating fluctuations in the blood sugar of children. Children cannot focus on their lessons, they have learning difficulties. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is more common. If we want to raise healthy, intelligent children, we must keep them away from sugary foods. Consuming sugary foods in childhood; It prevents the secretion of growth hormones in children, growth retardation, obesity, diabetes, precocious puberty, tooth decay and disrupting the body defenses, causing them to become more ill.
What Should We Do to Protect Our Children From Sugar?
Checking food labels should be made a habit of choosing sugar-free or less sugar-free products, and we should teach this to our children as well. It should not be forgotten that expressions such as fructose syrup, corn syrup, dextrose, brown sugar, sucrose, sucrose, glucose on food labels are actually sugars.
Instead of ready-made fruit juice, carbonated drinks, sweetened and flavored drinks, prefer water, homemade cold fruit tea, and ayran. You can choose water containing lemon, apple slices and mint leaves to increase your water consumption.
In meeting the carbohydrate requirement; Foods such as whole grains, legumes, fresh vegetables and fruits, and milk should be preferred.
Sugar and sugary foods should not be preferred as a reward. Food should never be given to children as a reward. This situation is one of the biggest reasons why they cannot gain healthy eating behavior. Presented to children as a reward mechanism, candy and chocolate turn into a useful food perception in the children's brain over time.
Get your child used to eating fruit whole
One of the ways to reduce sugar consumption during the day is to use protein-containing breakfasts. A good breakfast balances the body's hunger mechanism and prevents sweet cravings. Therefore, it is important to have a balanced breakfast with eggs, cheese, walnuts, whole grain bread and seasonal vegetables.