Why Do Kids Crave Sugar?
In her article “13 Ways to Fight Sugar Cravings”, Wendy C. Fries writes:
“Why Do We Crave Sugar?
“There are many reasons why we go for sweet things.
“That appetite may be hardwired. "Sweet is the first taste humans prefer from birth," says Christine Gerbstadt, MD. Carbohydrates stimulate the release of the feel-good brain chemical serotonin. Sugar is a carbohydrate, but carbohydrates come in other forms, too, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, which have fiber and nutrients your body needs.
“The taste of sugar also releases endorphins that calm and relax us, and offer a natural "high," says Susan Moores, a registered dietitian and nutrition consultant in St. Paul, MN.
“Sweets just taste good, too. And that preference gets reinforced when you reward yourself with sweet treats, which can make you crave it even more. With all that going for it, why wouldn’t we crave sugar?
“The problem comes not when we indulge in a sweet treat now and then, but when we overdo it. That’s easy to do when sugar is added to many processed foods, including breads, yogurt, juices, and sauces."
So, once children have a taste of sugar, it can be hard to manage their continuous desire to eat sweet, sugar-laden foods.
If children consume excess sugar it can have hidden repercussions.
What happens to all that excess sugar?
As food is eaten, digestion breaks food down into simple glucose molecules which circulate in the blood to the cells where it can be utilized.
Glucose, or “blood sugar,” is a simple sugar which functions as the body’s fuel in order to produce energy and heat.
Glucose cannot penetrate the cell wall unless it is attached to molecules of insulin. This is where insulin “unlocks” the cell walls so the glucose can enter and is secreted by the pancreas. Insulin’s job then, is to deliver the blood sugar into the cells.
As we eat more sugar and carbohydrates, the body works harder and harder and eventually may not be able to keep up with the overload of sugar.
Continual excessive sugar intake means insulin is being pumped into the blood continually. Over time, the cells become resistant to the normal amount of insulin and don’t utilize the sugar. The body’s response to this is to create even more insulin.
So, over time there’s more sugar and more insulin in the blood while the cells continue being resistant to utilizing the substance they need to produce energy.
This is known as insulin resistance. While most discussions about insulin resistance are aimed at adults, it's possible for children and young adults to be insulin resistant. This is particularly true of children who are overweight.
There are 5 metabolic impairments associated with children with special needs, and two of them are glucose metabolism in the brain and insulin signaling.
So, the occasional sweet treat for children may be okay, but a constant carbohydrate and sugar laden diet is not and can cause health issues.
What can be done to better manage sugar?
Incorporating less carbohydrates and refined sugar in a child's diet is a start as there's less sugar entering their body. Supplementation can also help.
There's a 100% natural, plant-based supplement that can help manage sugar in the body.
Spectrum Care+/Metabolic Boost addresses sugar in the body in the following ways:
- Promotes the protection of the body from processing excess sugar
- Lessens the absorption of excess sugar in the intestines
- Inhibits the glycation process - a process where an excess sugar molecule combines with an excess protein molecule and produces tremendous amounts of damaging free radicals
- Stimulates the cells to absorb more sugar by increasing the energy output of the mitochondria in each cell
- Revives beta cells in the pancreas that manufacture insulin to enhance the pancreas’ ability to increase insulin production
- Retards the liver from converting sugar molecules to fat molecules, thereby lessening the potential for the body to store fat.
Spectrum Care+/Metabolic Boost is part of the Spectrum Care+ Protocol. This protocol has been designed to promote optimum metabolism in children with special needs.