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Sugar, the other drug…

The kids helped me go through the pantry this weekend and we threw away things that we just don’t use anymore.  This huge tub of sugar was one of them. I didn’t even know we still had this! Yes, I’m just that organized.

It was killing Tate that we weren’t having more fun getting rid of the sugar so, he just had to intervene…

So to be honest, I’m not sure where to start on this post. Everyone that knows me well, knows that I limit the sugar my kids eat. Now I’m not a super strict mom that says we can’t ever have any (it’s just not plausible in the world we live in with birthday parties, etc.), and I don’t want them to feel deprived, but I do have my reasons for limiting their intake.

There is absolutely nothing that our bodies gain from sugar when consuming it other than (note that this is a very condensed list):

  • Decreasing our immune system
  • Making us acidic (more to come on alkaline vs acidic) which can cause a host of health issues
  • Causing a rapid rise of adrenaline levels in children 
  • Causing hyperactivity, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and crankiness in children
  • Worsening symptoms of ADHD in kids that have it
  • Causing a possible deficiency in chromium, copper, calcium, magnesium and potassium 
  • Increasing insulin levels, which causes the body to store excess carbs as fat and can cause obesity
  • Possibly causing any of the following: asthma, arthritis,  heart disease, depression, digestion issues, obesity, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and/or diabetes. According to the CDC, 1 in 3 children born in 2000 will develop diabetes. Let me repeat that a little louder. 1 in 3 will get diabetes.
  • And it’s totally addictive!

Sugar can adversely affect school children’s grades and cause learning disorders. In a research study at Yale, they learned that ”children’s adrenalin was raised to over five times their normal level for up to five hours afterwards. Most of these children had difficulty concentrating and were anxious and irritable.”

There was another study at a juvenile rehabilitation camp.  When the children were put on a low sugar diet, there was a 44% positive change in behavior. I could go on and on with these studies, but you get the point.

My kids (and I think most are) are sensitive to sugar and I certainly can tell when they have had it. They are irritable, moody, very sensitive, lethargic, can’t concentrate well, and not to mention, healthy food just doesn’t appeal to them. Understandably…we’ve changed their taste buds. Just a few more reasons to avoid it. Oh, and be careful because it’s in just about everything!

There are a number of books available on the subject, but perhaps one of the most interesting ones is “Sugar Blues” by William Dufty. Another great book on sugar and other important nutrition issues is “Nourshing Traditions” by Sally Fallon. I am a big fan of hers!

Also, to get a little more information on the subject, listen to this phenomenal video “Sugar: The Bitter Truth”. It’s perfect on your phone for a 1 hour walk!

Or read this featured article in NY Times:

Okay, thanks for reading my rant for the week! 🙂