Despite it being an ingredient that no one needs on a daily basis, sugar plays a starring role in many of our diets. The American Heart Association suggest that kids eat no more than three teaspoons (12 grams) of sugar a day, but Sara Yen, registered dietitian at Children’s Hospital Boston’s Martha Eliot Health Center, says most kids are probably exceeding that. And with the many sugar variations and substitutes, there seems to be confusion about what sugar and its spinoffs really are, and what they mean for our bodies.
Yen demystifies the situation without sugarcoating it.
“The reason we tell patients to avoid sugar is because it provides calories and refined carbohydrates, but not much else,” she says. “It’s what we call empty calories: You take them in, but in terms of fiber, vitamins and minerals, it’s not beneficial.” …
Other stories we’ve been reading:
Be sure to keep liquid detergent capsules out of your kids’ reach. Scientists find out why Vitamin D is important. [Read how children are at risk of a Vitamin D deficiency.]There’s a jump in kids’ sports injuries due to overuse. [Read about how girls’ soccer injuries are preventable.]
Twenty percent of U.S. babies don’t get the hepatitis B vaccine. A Canadian vaccine study proves the idea of “herd community.” [Read about this year’s vaccine schedule.] A new drug could help protect against treatment-resistant lice.
A consumer groups gives food advertisers an “F” on kids. Taxing soda and pizza could help consumers lose five pounds a year. Schools are serving less sugary drinks. [Read about artificially sweetened beverages.]