I know this stuff is bad, but truth be told, you can still find it added in all sorts of things at my house. I really do try to limit sugar for my kids, because I want them to be healthy and well and energized. Soda? Only sometimes, and they’re usually only allowed my Hansen’s Diet natural soda variety, which I keep stocked. I do pay attention to labels, but my kids probably still take in more sugar than I want them to! I can actually see the effects of sugar with my 8 year old boy, who already possesses a God-given enthusiasm for life. He is very energetic, and when you sprinkle a little sugar on him, he morphs into an exuberant Tigger. I know that processed, refined, added sugars lower immunity, and mess with the body’s natural balance.
I read an article on YahooNews about sugar this morning: Sugar Should Be Regulated as a Toxin. At first glance, it may seem way over the top to regulate sugar just like tobacco and alcohol, huh? For me, that’s largely because I do not want Big G regulating every aspect of our lives as if we are incapable of making decisions for ourselves, but we are largely talking about children here. What people, in general, do need though, is information and education. Armed properly with this, many of us will make decisions accordingly, finding balance for ourselves. What I do agree with, is making the sugary treats less available for our kids – meaning in our schools. Growing up, I remember how excited we were to get a vending machine installed at the student hang out area in high school. Hello! Cookies and candy at our finger tips, yeah! Not so great. So I was pleased to see the vending machines at my child’s school filled with trail mix, granola bars, and other similar items. Overall, I think people should pay attention to the fuel they’re giving to their bodies. Bad fuel means a bad running motor, or worse – a full system break down. I believe in balance, which means I do allow treats and sweets in moderation. If I want candy, I will take care to pick up the dark cocoa chocolate – because I know it possesses many health benefits. I am not a “health nut” (at least I don’t think so, but by others’ standards I may be), because I do still stop for fast food! I may make the kids drink green juice too, but I still let them have fries. I’m somewhere in the middle.
I know there are plenty of people out there who pay no attention to ingredients including chemicals, additives, or added sugar. Drinking soda after soda. Juice? And juice… well it says “juice” on the bottle, so it must be better than soda, right? Well if you don’t read the ingredients, chances are “NOT”. You may just be replacing one overly sugary drink for another. I stock juice, of the 100% juice variety. I favor unfiltered organic apple juice, 100% grape juice (you know, from grapes – with no added sugars), V8 (made from actual fruits and vegetables), Bolthouse Farms Green Goodness (packed with greens and liked by kids!). They are usually more expensive, but so is ill health. I limit how much they are allowed to drink as well, and “push” water on them in between.
So here’s my take. I do believe that more attention should be given to educating people on diet and its relation to disease and wellness. I do believe that children should not have easy and convenient access to sugar-loaded foods in schools. More labels, sure. Education, definitely. Fact is that you can not force people to be healthy though. You can not force people to care. Some will and some won’t, and some don’t know better. Let’s help those who don’t know better.
…And some know better and still want a little of whatever it is they want!
One of my favorite go-to places for health education and information is www.Mercola.com. If you have not been there, I’m almost positive you will learn lots (and that’s even if you already know!)
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