“Low in sugar” kids foods attracts parents, but what they don’t know can hurt their kids. A new report shows that there are hidden sweeteners found in kids foods and most parents know nothing about them.
According to the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics), 25% of children in the U.S. are consuming artificial sweeteners in their diets. That means Canadian kids are consuming them too.
But, parents are in the dark about these artificial sweeteners — they just can’t tell if a product contains any.
These non-nutritive sweeteners are hidden well in children’s foods. Experts, however, require more research to really determine what, if anything, sweeteners do to the overall health of kids.
They want more research in whether the non-nutritive sweeteners (artificial sweeteners) have an effect on children obesity and Type II diabetes. Perhaps they’ll find out if these additives are the reason for the huge increase in both obesity and diabetes in kids.
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Smart labelling and marketing loopholes allow food companies to use misleading label foods as “no sugar” or “low sugar.”
So, What are Artificial Sweeteners?
The non-nutritive sweeteners are completely artificial – made in a lab, if you will, except from pure leaf stevia extract and monk fruit. All the others — saccharin, aspartame and sucralose are all artificial.
Nutritive sweeteners can be high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), maple syrup, honey, molasses, agave, or just plain sugar.
And, sweeteners can be up to 100 TIMES SWEETER than sugar!
Which Kids Foods Contain Sweeteners?
All kinds of foods that kids love can contain these sweeteners, such as:
- Sunny D drinks
- Cereal bars
- Ice cream
Of course, that’s just a short list. There are many more foods to watch out for.
The key is to read labels — be cautious when you see “reduced sugar” or “no sugar” on packaging.
So, read the ingredients list carefully. If the first 3 ingredients list sugar (with whatever name), then don’t give it to your child. Or, at least, not offen.
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