The Facts about Fruit and Sugar Highs
We hear so much about sugar these days. Why is it so bad for our kids? What does it do inside their systems?
The answer, in a word, is: Chemistry.
I can remember an incident when my six year old had a soft drink in an airport years ago. He ran around the terminal and was so amped up on sugar that my spouse and I wondered how we’d handle him once we got on board. Lucky for us, his sugar spike was in the terminal and once on board he had a sugar crash and slept the entire flight.
No more soft drinks for him, but that was an example of chemistry in action and impact of sugar on our kids.
Fruit contains a few different types of sugar, some of which aren’t harmful to kids. In comparison, candy is loaded with what could be labeled “bad sugar.”
The consequences of too much “bad sugar?” Well, there’s the possibility of tooth decay, early onset diabetes, weight gain—all the unhealthy stuff that you’re already familiar with.
So, back to chemistry—and hang with us here, we’ll keep this interesting and short. Fruit contains natural sugars, and among these are fructose and glucose. These are the same basic ingredients as candy or soft drinks.
But the naturally occurring sugars in fruit are more complex and less harmful than the types of sugars found in food. Also, the fiber in fruit serves as a mechanism for delivering the sugar in small and even doses for a long period of time. There’s no “sugar high” from fruit because the sugars are more complex and because the fiber in fruit ensures a more even distribution of sugar into our kids’ bloodstream.
Should kids limit their fruit intake? Not at all! Fruit is a great source of healthy ingredients and the naturally occurring sugar in fruit is quite unlike that of processed foods, soft drinks and candy.