The health industry has been misleading you. It seems insane to think that the entire way that you’ve been taught to eat is off, but its true. For years, you have been relying on the Dietary Guidelines that are supported by so many professional entities. But the fact of the matter is that sugar is slowly destroying your child’s health.
Here are the facts. The Dietary Guidelines pie chart makes no distinction between simple and complex carbohydrates. So rightly or wrongly, you assume carbs are carbs. Right? Not so. The true is there is a big difference in their molecular build up. As the names suggest, one has a simple make up, the other is more complex. Complex carbohydrates are harder to metabolise and offer more constant energy output, whilst simple carbohydrates cause insulin spikes. Insulin is a hormone that helps the body use the sugar is pulls from carbohydrates. If the body’s insulin levels are spiked too often or too much, the body builds up an “insulin resistance.” This basically means the body stops being able to respond appropriately to insulin production and hey presto, we have type 2 diabetes.
So, the cereals that you eat for breakfast, the toast, bagels, muffins, the sandwiches for lunch, the crumbed chicken, schnitzel, fish bits, they are all made up of simple carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates are metabolised just like sugar is. The thing about the Dietary Guideline pie chart is misleading because it shows a whole lot of little pictures of grains, pastas, breads and cereals that you would think that they’re the thing that are good for you. The truth is, what you really need are the complex carbohydrates like potato, sweet potato, broccoli and other vegetables.
Complex carbohydrates are important for children as they are a good source of energy, they help children grow and develop and largely they provide a nutrient dense source of fuel that will keep them going. In order to mitigate the effects of the insulin spike, complex carbohydrates can also be serves with healthy fats such as nuts, avocado, omega 3 rich fish like salmon, olives, coconut oil and whole eggs as well as full cream dairy products.
Healthy fats are a slow releasing energy source that allows children to feel more full for longer. A greater amount of healthy fat than the Dietary Guidelines recommend can support brain development and lead to better outcomes because children have more energy. Instead of experiencing constant peaks and troughs from their high simple carbohydrate diet, they are able to sustain focus and engage more fully in the joys of childhood, enabling them to get more from it.
You will notice that I keep using the term “healthy fats” instead of just calling them fats. There is a reason for this. Trans fats, such as those found in fast food, fried food, chips and a myriad of other processed foods are very detrimental to the health of not only children but adults as well. So not all fats are made equal. It’s important that you make sure that you’re sourcing the healthy fats from natural and wholesome sources when feeding your little ones. They should be from animal or plant sources.
To help here is a list of 5 of the top nutrient dense healthy fat sources:
- Salmon – high in omega 3 fatty acids
- Sardines – fatty fish high in omega 3
- Egg yoke – have had a bad reputation because of their cholesterol content but are loaded with vitamins and contain choline, a brain nutrient that 90% of people are deficient in
- Avocado – full of monounsaturated fats that promote heart health
- Almonds – packed with fibre, vitamin E, biotin, manganese, copper, magnesium and phosphorous.
Try adding some extra healthy fats to each of your meals and see the difference it makes to your child’s energy, concentration and education.