The brain needs sugar. It’s most simple form, glucose, is quite literally the only fuel it can use. We get sugar in natural wholefood forms through helpful foods like fruit and dairy products, which the body breaks down into glucose and uses for fuel wherever it is needed. Insulin regulates the sugar in your blood, to make sure there is not too much or too little at any given time, by pushing it into the cells or taking it out if you are low.So when we have a large dose of sugar rich foods or fluids, insulin is working over time to make things ok. With a large hit, such as a fruit juice, you will no doubt have a moment where the sugar in the blood is at a high, followed by the quick drop once the insulin has done it’s work. Such a big change in a short period is not good. This high and low of sugar in the blood presents as swings in mood and can also mess with our hunger and energy levels.
Toddlers are perfect examples of how concentrated doses of sugar, natural or not, is truly unhelpful. Unless you feel like more challenges in your day….. Pfftt. Feed them fruit juice or cordial and watch their eyes open wide when the peak of it hits their brains. Talk about food and mood. Why would you? Why as a carer of small humans, would you make your day harder?
Easter Sunday had a terrible start after my weak mum moment of letting the kids have "SOME" of an Easter Egg. Hehe. "SOME". Our kids were so high on sugar, they both fought, went on a crazy annoying high bender, crashed and were both fried, moody and unsettled for the day. Not fun for anyone. You see, it’s not just about health; it’s about behavior and neither of our kids are their true selves whilst on concentrated sugar.
It all seems to go wrong post toddler years 5+. In the NSW health 2017 “What Children Eat” report, it showed 45 per cent of 5-15 years old regularly drink sweetened drinks and 50% have unhealthy snacks every day.
Another reality is, that too much sugar, if the body does not need it for energy, will be converted to fat stores. So then of course your risks of diabetes, heart disease, cancers and lifestyle diseases go up. There is also much ongoing research into the potential link between diets high in refined sugars and unhelpful fats and depression, as well as brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s.
We need small regular doses of natural sources of sugar, provided in wholefoods such as fruits, wholegrain cereals and dairy, over the day, to help regulate our blood sugar levels and keep our brains fueled; avoiding the peaks and lows that concentrated sugar hits invite.