Heart Health Begins in Childhood

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More American adults than ever before are struggling with obesity and diabetes. If this is any indication of the future for our children, our nation is in real trouble.  One in 5 youths have some form of high cholesterol, with a higher prevalence in girls than boys.  While our children are still under our roofs we have the unique opportunity to teach them healthy eating habits in two ways: providing only healthy snacks at home and eating only healthy foods ourselves.

Skip the Sugar, altogether whenever possible:

Sugar and simple carbs (anything made from a ground grain, including corn) raise blood glucose levels.  Our bodies, always in preparation for starvation, store excess  glucose as fat (triglycerides).  Over time, high triglyceride levels elevate other forms of cholesterol, thus creating the beginnings of deposition of fatty streaks in arteries and insulin resistance, the precursor to diabetes.

How much sugar is ok? Naturally occurring sugar in fruit is not free sugar and is ok to eat. Otherwise, follow the guidelines below:

    • Adults max 30g of free sugar a day, (roughly equivalent to 7 sugar cubes).
    • Children aged 7 to 10  no more than 24g of free sugars a day (6 sugar cubes).
    • Children aged 4 to 6 have no more than 19g of free sugars a day (5 sugar cubes).
    • Toddlers and young children do not need anything more than fruit or honey as a sweetener in daily life.  REALLY avoid those sweetened drinks and sodas.  You will find they are better behaved and happier generally because they don’t feel out of control from sugar highs.

What sugars are best? Honey & maple syrup have minerals and vitamins other things don’t.

Healthy Fats will NOT make you fat, sugar will:

Healthy fats protect the brain and nervous system. They are also the backbone of all our sterol hormones and the lining of every cell in our bodies.  Children’s brains are growing exponentially faster than adults, so their need for healthy fats is higher.  Including healthy fat in every meal and snack will ensure stabilization of blood sugar, leaving our kids feeling satisfied after eating with great energy to play and learn. Here is a simple healthy fat guide:

Oils to Eat Daily

    • Avocado & avocado oil
    • Coconut products (Not to be confused with palm)
    • Fish (smaller fish accumulate less toxicity because their lifespan is shorter)
    • Dairy products from healthy animals; avoid low fat & fat-free products.
    • Meats – healthy animals = healthy fat ratios = healthy hearts.
      • Grass fed/grass finished beef
    • Nuts & Seeds are full of healthy Omega’s
    • Eggs from healthy chickens who ate bugs and worms,  got sunshine daily and exercise as they would naturally in nature.

Oils to avoid:

    • Canola
    • Trans-fats and hydrogenated oils,
    • Foods that are fried, especially deep-fried
    • Shortening
    • Margarine
    • Fats from diabetic or unhealthy animals that were likely corn fed to fatten them up at the end of life.

Avoiding unhealthy fats and an abundance of added sugars can save your children from a lifetime of health issues including diabetes, obesity, arterial plaque and inflammation.  Children who eat healthy balanced diets have stronger immune systems, greater emotional stability, learn more effectively, behave better, and have more energy for healthy outlets.

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2812791/

What is the recommended daily sugar intake?

 

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