The older generation that suffers from diabetes today grew up at a time when sugar was not added to every yogurt and breakfast cereal. When oats were considered healthy, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and even maple syrup were not loaded to them. Cookies were not served as desert for every meal. And candy was not a daily phenomenon, a ritual with every Girl Scout meeting, dance class, and visit to the bank.
Nutritionists warn against sugar. Everyone knows that it is dangerous. Until they hand it out. And they say that a “little bit” is okay. Everyone forgets that they passed that “little bit” amount for the whole day already at breakfast.
The healthiest brands at stores that cater to children and boast their organic virtues make health-conscious parents think that they are making great choices for their children. Unfortunately, these yogurts are loaded with sugar. They are part of a meal that has even more sugars. Yogurt, granola, fruit juice—together in one meal are too much sugar. Such parents often add some cookie or fruit roll up for desert. They think it is part of the “square meal.” They believe that they are teaching their children healthy habits.
No one realizes that this is a dangerous human experiment on a scale that has never been conducted. No generation has grown up on quite such a high amount of sugar. Whatever the amount that our parents ate that made them get diabetes at a late age, we are multiplying.
If people understood this, food with added sugar would not be in the healthy isles and growing in popularity. Health-conscious parents would not buy organic sweet foods. Well meaning parents think about sugar, care to avoid it, and fall into these hidden traps nevertheless.
The insulin pump in our body has to carry the sugar that we load. It is a machine. When we eat more sugar, the pump has to work harder. The harder it works, the faster it will break down.
Do you want your children to inject insulin at age 10, 20, or 50? Do you think they will be happy to have to avoid foods that they love…even at age 40 when they’re children urge them to eat it with them? Hopefully, you will not want your children to ever have to “watch” their sugar or inject medicine. So save them this suffering.
To save your children, teach them to sense when their sugar is off balance without a needle. Teach them to listen to their body, to balance the protein with the fruits and vegetables, and to enjoy this balance without the need for desert (which throws off the balance.)
You can teach your children to make a HeartMark, take a deep breath, and follow positive and negative images for sugar habits that they should avoid. Encourage them to visualize the insulin pump in action, the pump working too hard if they eat too much sweetness, and the negative results including the needle and the pain. Have them visualize the positive feelings of keeping the sugar low from the start.
Here are some more specific suggestions:
1. The taste buds for sugar become more sensitive so the less sugar you eat, the less you need.
2. Sugar must be balanced with protein. Fruits and vegetables provide this balance. If you eat enough protein, you can allow yourself some sugar, but if you waste your allowance on a cookie rather than a mango, you’re not making the best choice. Your sugary choices should be loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and freshness whenever you can. Sugar that comes accompanied with benefits for the body is better than sugar without benefits or with added poisons like artificial ingredients.
3. Sugar leads to acid in the mouth which breaks down the enamel and leads to cavities. Have the children make the HeartMark heart hands and ask them to visualize the pain of the drill from cavities. Then ask them to visualize the pleasure of having clean teeth. Cavities are the beginning of further oral health problems. Avoid them.
4. Think of many other positive images of how great you feel when you avoid sugar, like a balanced energy level, a cleaner feeling, and better skin, for example.
5. Your children’s taste buds are like thermostats. Calibrate them right from the start to sense sugar at low levels.
6. Alternatives to sugar are healthier. If you need to add sugar to a recipe, try xylitol instead. It prevents cavities, has less calories, and it’s completely natural. Xylitol works well in ice creams, baking, and even oatmeal. 🙂
7. All recipes that call for bad ingredients can be substituted with great ingredients. Nothing will blow up if you change the recipe. If you substitute a liquid for a solid, or a solid for a liquid, just add another solid or liquid (like more or less milk).
8. Read my other columns for more suggestions and information!
I HeartMark You! 🙂