Rava is an online news portal providing recent news, editorials, opinions and advice on day to day happenings in Pakistan.
The WHO suggests that the consumption of sugar in children should not exceed 10% of the total caloric intake of the day in a diet of 1,750 calories.
And it is that problems in the teeth, obesity, early diabetes or high cholesterol are some risks that hide behind a nutrition high in sugar.
Part of the problem is that much of the sugars consumed today are “hidden” in processed foods that are generally not considered sweet when we put them in the shopping cart.
For example, a tablespoon of ketchup contains approximately 4 grams of added sugars (one teaspoon) and a single can of soda contains up to 40 grams (about 10 teaspoons).
But the products from which children obtain most of the daily sugars come from foods that dietitians have well identified.
Sugary drinks, candies, cookies, cakes, desserts and cereals far exceed the recommendations of the health authorities.
And the main responsibility falls on parents who can change foods rich in sugars for their same healthier version .
These are some ideas:
- The dairy desserts are usually a sweet treat for children but replace it with a normal yogurt can cut sugar intake by half.
- The juices box usually a calorie trap. You tend to think that they only contain the natural sugar present in the fruit, but you have to look at the label well. Change a juice with added sugar for one that does not, reduces the intake of two cubes to medium.
- Changing breakfast cereals with glazed coverage or chocolate for a brand with less content reduces from three to half bucket of sugar per bowl.
Making these small changes eliminates the consumption of 2,500 sugar cubes a year of children’s diet.
But exchanging chocolate, puddings, sweets, cakes and cereals for healthier options like malt bread, sugar-free jellies, custards or low-sugar custards has a much greater health impact, according to the Change4Life campaign website.
Tracks in tags
“Children consume too much sugar, but parents can take measures to prevent excess from accumulating over the years,” says Alison Tedstone, chief nutrition officer of the English health system.
And paying attention to those who say labels with nutritional information is a useful first step.
Products are considered high or low in sugar if they are above or below the following thresholds:
- High: if it contains more than 22.5 grams of total sugars per 100 grams of product.
- Low: if it contains 5 grams or less of total sugars per 100 grams of product.
If the amount of sugars per 100 grams is between these figures, it is considered a medium level.
In the labeling the figure of total sugars describes the total amount of sugars from all sources, that is, those that are added or those that are present in fruits and vegetables.