It’s that time of year again…back to school time! The summer is over and kids are back in school which also means that their diet may be changing as well. Whether kids are going to school with their lunches packed or eating the cafeteria food, sugar is everywhere and especially in those juice packs that are advertised for being suitable for kids lunch boxes.
Sugar has become so dangerous, and addictive it is literally added to almost everything and if we didn’t read the food labels we would have no idea how much excess sugar not only kids but adults were getting in their diet. 1 single juice box can contain up to 20 something grams of added sugar on top of artificial coloring and additives. Juice that is often advertised as being suitable for kids lunch boxes are notorious for being extremely high in sugar, and new studies have been done that have linked high sugary drink intake to higher levels of cholesterol. The study done through Tuffs University saw that if school age children reduced their intake of sugar sweetened beverages intake by at least one serving a week was linked to a higher increase of HDL cholesterol, the good type of cholesterol over a 12 month period.
The findings from Tufts University’s research study proves just how important it is to reduce the amount of sugary beverages children are consuming. High sugar intake does not only have an impact on accumulating the bad kind of cholesterol and depleting the good type of cholesterol, it also can cause insulin resistance, decreased immunity, dental cavities, and childhood obesity. If high sugar consumption begins at a young age the risk of cardiovascular disease increases as well.
Reducing a child’s sugar intake by decreasing the amount of sugary beverages consumed weekly can prove to have very beneficial health benefits. The truth is, sugar sweetened beverages have been the main source of added sugar in children’s diets in the US, and can account for up to 10% of total calorie intake daily. Reducing the sugar intake as soon as possible is the key to help ward off health complications that stem from high sugar intake. If you child is used to having a juice box everyday start by trying to decrease the amount of sugar by watering down the juice or as the study suggested, removing just 1 serving per week. You can also opt for healthier choices instead of the daily juice box. Instead of packing a juice box try a box of fresh unsweetened coconut water, or seltzer water flavored with fresh fruits. A homemade smoothie with unsweetened almond milk as a base is also an excellent way to replace high sugar drink for something packed with fiber and antioxidants. Sugar is added to almost everything so even just starting small and removing 1 thing at a time can be excellent for overall health and wellbeing. Start this school year off right by vowing to reduce your child’s sugar intake, their health will thank you for it.