Tag Archives: sugar

How to stop sugar sneaking into your child’s diet

(CNN)A lollipop after a morning doctor visit. A cupcake for a classmate’s birthday with lunch. A bag of cookies, gummies or a few little doughuts before after-school activities begin.

And dessert is still a few hours away.
    Even the word “snack” — once thought of as a healthy, energizing source of calories for children — can seem like a euphemism for a sugar solution IV these days.
    “Sugar (specifically fructose) is metabolized in the liver just like alcohol,” said Dr. Robert Lustig, a professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. “This is why children are getting the diseases of alcohol, like type 2 diabetes and fatty liver disease, without the alcohol. These are diseases that were unheard-of in children prior to 1980.”
    According to the CDC’s 2014 diabetes report card (PDF), more than 5,000 new cases of type 2 diabetes are estimated to be diagnosed among Americans younger than age 20 each year.
    There’s also been an increased prevalence of metabolic syndrome in adolescents; that’s a cluster of conditions, including increased blood pressure and excess fat around the waist, that can increase diabetes and heart disease risk. Lustig’s recent research, published in the Public Health Nutrition journal, found that it wasn’t the fault of the pounds that sugar packs on to young people; it was another result of excess sugar.
    “Sugar doesn’t cause disease just because of its calories. Sugar causes disease because it’s sugar,” Lustig said. “Thin people get metabolic diseases like type 2 diabetes, too. Obesity increases the risk, but sugar is an independent risk factor apart from calories or obesity.”

    Sweet suggestions

    So what can parents do to keep sugar from overtaking their kids’ diets? Here are a few suggestions from experts.
    Don’t deprive your kids of sweets.
    Despite the consequences, health professionals agree that parents shouldn’t deprive their child of sweets.
    “Sugar is not a ‘toxin’ that must be excluded from a child’s diet,” Isoldi said. “Often, children who have sweets restricted and feel deprived will not learn how to regulate sweets. Instead, they often overindulge whenever the possibility is presented.
    “The key is to help children find a balance with food, helping them learn how to enjoy healthy foods and enjoy (and self-regulate) treats.”
    Even Lustig agrees. “I’m for dessert — for dessert. I’m not for dessert for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks,” he said.
    Allow children one sweet treat or dessert per day.
    Good choices include animal crackers, vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt. However, if kids are set on having chocolate chip cookies, this should not create a “food fight,” Isoldi said. And — deep breath — don’t restrict portions, even if it makes you anxious to watch.
    “Parents should let their little one decide on the amount to eat, because only allowing one or two cookies will create a restrictive environment that is counterproductive.” That doesn’t mean that you have to offer the whole box, however. You can start by giving your child two cookies, but instead of saying, “You may have ONLY two cookies, do you hear me?” you can instead say, “Here are two cookies. Oh, you want three? Sure.” The idea is that your child should be able to learn his or her own internal satiety cues, which can ultimately help prevent eating issues later in life.
    Keep fruit drinks, soda and sugary beverages out of the house.
    “There’s no nutritional benefit to drinking sugar-sweetened beverages,” Isoldi said. AND although liquid calories can still add up, you don’t feel as full as you would from solid foods. The result? People who drink sugary beverages don’t necessarily cut back on their calorie intake to compensate.
    For an alternative to soda, dilute 4 ounces unsweetened juice with 4 ounces seltzer water and flavor with lemon, lime or other fresh fruit.
    Watch out for sugars in foods that you don’t think of as sweet.
    Keep an eye on breads, sauces and condiments by searching ingredient lists for names such as high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, glucose, sucrose or other words ending in “ose,” evaporated cane juice, brown rice syrup, malt syrup and molasses. Food packages will soon list “added sugars” as a separate line on nutrition labels, so the amount of these sugars will no longer be “hidden.”
    Remember, even natural sugar is sugar.
    Many people think that “natural” sugars like honey and agave are healthier than ones that are more highly processed, like sucrose or table sugar. But when you look closely, you see that all of these sugars contain fructose and glucose. And while honey may offer some antioxidants, you would probably have to consume a lot of honey calories in order to experience any health benefits. Honey and agave are actually sweeter than table sugar and contain more calories: One teaspoon of sucrose has 16 calories, while 1 teaspoon of agave or honey has 21 calories.

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    This doesn’t mean foods containing natural sugars aren’t healthy. But how these natural sugars are packaged matters.
    A piece of whole fruit like an apple contains naturally occurring fructose, but it also delivers 4.4 grams of fiber, thanks to the peel and pulp. Apple juice, on the other hand, lacks fiber and is a more concentrated source of sugar and calories. This translates to a more rapid rise in blood sugar when you drink juice — and may even help explain why eating whole fruit, including apples, has been associated with decreased risk for type 2 diabetes, while greater consumption of fruit juices has been associated with a higher risk, according to a Harvard study published in 2013.

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/02/health/sugar-limits-for-children/index.html

    Official advice on low-fat diet and cholesterol is wrong, says health charity

    Report accuses UK public health bodies of colluding with food industry and calls for overhaul of dietary guidelines

    Urging people to follow low-fat diets and to lower their cholesterol is having disastrous health consequences, a health charity has warned.

    In a damning report that accuses major public health bodies of colluding with the food industry, the National Obesity Forum and the Public Health Collaboration call for a major overhaul of current dietary guidelines. They say the focus on low-fat diets is failing to address Britains obesity crisis, while snacking between meals is making people fat.

    Instead, they call for a return to whole foods such as meat, fish and dairy, as well as high-fat, healthy foods including avocados, arguing: Eating fat does not make you fat.

    The report which has caused a huge backlash among the scientific community also argues that saturated fat does not cause heart disease while full-fat dairy, including milk, yoghurt and cheese, can actually protect the heart.

    Processed foods labelled low fat, lite, low cholesterol or proven to lower cholesterol should be avoided at all costs, and people with type 2 diabetes should eat a fat-rich diet rather than one based on carbohydrates.

    The report also said sugar should be avoided, people should stop counting calories and the idea that exercise could help you outrun a bad diet was a myth. Instead, a diet low in refined carbohydrates but high in healthy fats was an effective and safe approach for preventing weight gain and aiding weight loss, and cuts the risk of heart disease, it said.

    The report added: Eating a diet rich in full-fat dairy such as cheese, milk and yoghurt can actually lower the chance of obesity.

    The most natural and nutritious foods available meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, nuts, seeds, olive, avocados all contain saturated fat. The continued demonisation of omnipresent natural fat drives people away from highly nourishing, wholesome and health-promoting foods.

    The authors of the report also argue that the science of food has also been corrupted by commercial influences.

    Just as big tobacco companies bought the loyalty of scientists when a link was made between smoking and lung cancer, the influence of the food industry represents a significant threat to public health, they argued. They said the recent Eatwell Guide from Public Health England (PHE) was produced with a large number of people from the food and drink industry.

    Prof David Haslam, chairman of the National Obesity Forum, said: As a clinician, treating patients all day every day, I quickly realised that guidelines from on high, suggesting high-carbohydrate, low-fat diets were the universal panacea, were deeply flawed.

    Current efforts have failed the proof being that obesity levels are higher than they have ever been, and show no chance of reducing despite the best efforts of government and scientists.

    Dr Aseem Malhotra, consultant cardiologist and founding member of the Public Health Collaboration, a group of medics, said dietary guidelines promoting low-fat foods were perhaps the biggest mistake in modern medical history, resulting in devastating consequences for public health.

    Sadly this unhelpful advice continues to be perpetuated. The current Eatwell Guide from Public Health England is in my view more like a metabolic timebomb than a dietary pattern conducive for good health. We must urgently change the message to the public to reverse obesity and type 2 diabetes.

    Eat fat to get slim. Dont fear fat. Fat is your friend. Its now truly time to bring back the fat.

    Prof Iain Broom, from Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, said: The continuation of a food policy recommending high-carbohydrate, low-fat, low-calorie intakes as healthy eating is fatally flawed.

    Our populations for almost 40 years have been subjected to an uncontrolled global experiment that has gone drastically wrong.

    But Prof John Wass, the Royal College of Physicians special adviser on obesity, said there was good evidence that saturated fat increases cholesterol.

    He added: What is needed is a balanced diet, regular physical activity and a normal healthy weight. To quote selective studies risks misleading the public.

    Prof Simon Capewell, from the Faculty of Public Health, said: We fully support Public Health Englands new guidance on a healthy diet. Their advice reflects evidence-based science that we can all trust. It was not influenced by industry.

    By contrast, the report from the National Obesity Forum is not peer reviewed. Furthermore, it does not it indicate who wrote it or how is was funded. That is worrying.

    Dr Mike Knapton, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation (BHF), said: This report is full of ideas and opinion, however it does not offer the robust and comprehensive review of evidence that would be required for the BHF, as the UKs largest heart research charity, to take it seriously.

    This countrys obesity epidemic is not caused by poor dietary guidelines; it is that we are not meeting them.

    Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at PHE, said: In the face of all the evidence, calling for people to eat more fat, cut out carbs and ignore calories is irresponsible. Unlike this opinion piece, our independent experts review all the available evidence often thousands of scientific papers run full-scale consultations and go to great lengths to ensure no bias.

    Prof Naveed Sattar, from the University of Glasgow, said the reports main headline simply to eat more fat is highly contentious and could have adverse public health consequences.

    Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/may/22/official-advice-to-eat-low-fat-diet-is-wrong-says-health-charity

    Diet soda may do more harm than good

    (CNN)Diet soda drinkers have the same health issues as those who drink regular soda, according to a report published Wednesday.

    Purdue University researchers reviewed a dozen studies published in the past five years that examined the relationship between consuming diet soda and health outcomes for the report, published as an opinion piece in the journal Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism. They say they were “shocked” by the results.
      “Honestly, I thought that diet soda would be marginally better compared to regular soda in terms of health,” said Susan Swithers, the author of this opinion piece and a behavioral neuroscientist and professor of psychological sciences. “But in reality, it has a counterintuitive effect.”
      “Low-calorie sweeteners are some of the most studied and reviewed ingredients in the food supply today,” the association said in a statement. “They are safe and an effective tool in weight loss and weight management, according to decades of scientific research and regulatory agencies around the globe.”
      Diet soda’s negative effects are not just linked to weight gain, however, the report says.
      It found that diet soda drinkers who maintained a healthy weight range still had a significantly increased risk of the top three killers in the United States: diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
      “We’ve gotten to a place where it is normal to drink diet soda because people have the false impression that it is healthier than indulging in a regular soda,” Swithers said. “But research is now very clear that we need to also be mindful of how much fake sugar they are consuming.”
      There are five FDA-approved artificial sweeteners: acesulfame potassium (Sunett, Sweet One), aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet), neotame, saccharin (SugarTwin, Sweet’N Low) and sucralose (Splenda).
      All of them are chemicals. “Saccharin was one of the first commercially available artificially sweeteners, and it’s actually a derivative of tar,” Swithers said.
      Natural sweeteners like Stevia — which has no calories and is 250 times sweeter than regular sugar — are not a chemical but are still a processed extract of a natural plant and increase your health risks similar to artificial sweeteners.

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      “Just because something is natural does not always mean that it is safer,” Jampolis said.
      There more studies and research that need to be done, but in the meantime, experts say, limit consumption.
      “No one is saying cut it out completely,” Swithers said. “But diet soda should be a treat or indulgence just like your favorite candy, not an everyday thing.”

      Read more: http://edition.cnn.com/