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What does a child in current times typically eat? Gone are the days when eating dessert or sweet snacks were occasional treats. We now find it normal that today’s children eat sugar-laden packaged cereals for breakfast and snack on chocolate bars, ice cream or candy. When observing a typical child’s diet, the rising incidence of childhood obesity comes as no surprise.

Why is sugar such a problem?

  1. The body has no mechanism to tell our brain that it has eaten enough sugar. In prehistoric times, when our ancestors found any source of sugar, the body would tell the brain to eat large quantities in prevision of future times of starvation. This is because sugar was generally very scarce and only found in fruits, nuts and root vegetables. Thus, today’s abundant refined sugar is highly addictive, creating problems with binging, obsessing, and withdrawal. What we typically consider a “reasonable amount” is in fact already too much. Our annual sugar consumption was about 4 pounds per person in 1770 and this has risen to 168 pounds! Such an exaggerated sugar consumption is the most direct contributor to diabetes, obesity, hypertension and cholesterol – in both adults and children.
  2. Children in developed countries eat on average 32 teaspoons of sugar per day. Teenagers eat 42 teaspoons per day. We know that our body does best with no more than 6 to 9 teaspoons of sugar per day. When our kids eat sugar, they are not eating other healthier foods. In other words, sugar-containing foods replace other nutrient-dense foods they could be eating in their day. For this reason, sugary foods are called “empty-calories” – they fuel a generation of children that is both over-nourished but unfortunately malnourished. Our children are getting plenty of calories but inadequately small amounts of cellular nutrients such as trace minerals, vitamins, fiber and antioxidants.
  3. Refined sugar creates a sudden increase of blood sugar levels followed by a crash. This means that most people – and especially children – will feel euphoric and energized shortly after eating sugary foods but within 90 minutes, they will experience hypoglycemic episodes, which children experience as mood swings and fatigue.

Most parents find little time to prepare home-cooked meals. Restaurants offer “kid menus” that consist mostly of processed fish fingers, ketchup, French fries and ice-cream. Food colouring and preservatives are often found in processed foods geared at children. This fact is quite alarming in the light of recent research that has established a potential link between food additives and a number of childhood conditions, such as autism, attention-deficient disorder and eczema. These foods have become the common staple of child nutrition, while nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables are nowhere to be seen. It is time to re-evaluate what our children are eating and reverse the trend.

Here are a few tips to help you get started

  1. Keep a diet diary in which you record everything your child eats in one week, and daily observations regarding your child’s behavior. This will help you realize what you child is truly eating – is it mostly chocolate and sweet snacks? Is s/he getting enough vegetables? We often underestimate the proportion of processed foods our kids eat everyday diet.
  2. Remove all sodas and flavoured milks from your child’s diet – they are basically “liquid sugar” whose regular consumption leads to erratic blood sugar control, hyperactivity and obesity or diabetes in the long-term.
  3. Be a good role model! Do not eat junk foods in front of your children. Show the right example by snacking on natural unprocessed foods such as nuts and raisins, apples, or vegetable dips.
  4. Transition your household to “brown” unrefined carbohydrates. Avoid white pasta, white bread, white baked goods and anything made with white flour. Although white flour does not taste sweet, it contains several molecules of sugar bound together. During digestion, large amounts of sugars are released from the flour’s starch. Brown carbohydrates like brown rice, millet, buckwheat, brown pasta and unrefined cereals also contain some sugar contained in their starches – but in lesser amounts and bound to other nutritious substances like fiber and B vitamins. This makes it easier for the body to process sugar in general.
  5. Replace commercial baked items with home-made cakes or cookies – it is then much easier to control the amount of sugar inside and one can then encourage fruit-based treats at home. When baking at home, use unrefined flours like wholewheat flour and natural sugars like honey, apple sauce or even stevia. Use at least 50% less sugar than what most conventional recipes would suggest wherever possible. Most of us – adults included – are addicted to sugar. This means that we will go through withdrawal when trying to reduce sugar in our lives. This is a normal part of the process. It will take some work before children accept a diet that contains fewere processed starches and sugary items.
  6. Work with your child to discourage sugar-laden ‘goodie bags’ at birthday parties – replace the “goodies” with stationary, stickers, balloons or other fun non-edible items.

Let me know in the comments below.


I will be happy to read and reply all of your comments. also feel free to share on any of the Social Media listed below and start the "Conversation".
As always, thanks for popping in and see you soon.

Mirko Francioni - Author of |Radiation mapping article for Epi Life Coach
about the author

Mirko is for people who knows him well a true motivator and inspirer. He has been the driving force in projects such as a wellness center in Thailand, a corporate on-line travel agency and membership club with over 120,000 members worldwide. Mirko has created a strong professional reputation as one of the leaders in the hospitality and fitness & recreation industries.

eating for your future

How epigenetics and nutrition can affect your kids

As the common saying goes – “We are what we eat.” And with more knowledge and information about health, diets and nutrition, one would be more aware about what they put into their mouth. Whether it is low-fat, gluten-free, organic, pesticide-free, or whole-range, we would want to consume what would be the best for ourselves and our bodies (though, whether it tastes good or if it is easy on the wallet, is a separate matter).

For a family person, one would be choosing the best food for his or her family to consume – giving the best to their loved ones, in order for them to be healthy and nourished. But, what if our children’s well-being does not begin when you start feeding them the right food since they are young… or even if they are properly fed when they are in their infancy stage? What if, it starts with us, way before your kids are conceived?

 Epigenetics is the study of how individual genes can be activated or deactivated by life experiences.
Through this study, scientists have discovered that the biochemical process of the genes occurs not just during gestation and early development but throughout adulthood, switching genes on or off and altering our mental and physical health.

What one eats can directly affect the DNA through epigenetic modifications – altering the genetic expression. These changes are not limited to one’s own self; they can and are passed onto your children. For example, prenatal diets that are low in folic acid, vitamin B-12, and other nutrients containing “methyl groups” have been linked to an increased risk of asthma and brain and spinal cord defects in children.

By joining Epi Life Coach, we would be able gather information on your Epigenetic features – which could help provide better alternatives to improving your health – hence optimizing your well-being.

We have specifically and consciously chosen products which have proven positive results. Many of these products are available exclusively for our members – from body care, skin care, and modern day anti-pollutants to e-books that will allow you to understand how to optimize your wellbeing.

In order to complement and synchronize your wellness, Epi Life Coach has chosen to also promote stress reducing, downloadable music for workout, relaxation, meditation which can help you to achieve your goals.

Explore the Epi Life Coach web app to find out more about your epigenetic mapping information.

sarah O'Connor

Sarah is part of the Team ELC and she helps people discover what makes their life happy, meaningful, and full of ease. She is a writer, meditator and loves painting, an art she happily gets to practice a lot in her spare time.

the need for proper food

The food that we eat provides the body with what it needs. One of its most important jobs is to contribute to the body’s growth and repair. The body is made up of millions of cells. A large proportion of each cell consists of substances called proteins. Proteins are sometimes called the ‘building blocks’ of the body and without them the body cannot grow or repair itself. Some foods are particularly rich in protein, e.g. milk, fish, meat, eggs, cheese.

 Malnutrition is a major cause of serious illness worldwide.

Food for energy
The concept of ‘energy’, is somewhat difficult for many of us to grasp as we usually associate it with work or movement of some kind. In many cases we tend to relate energy to muscular work and we find difficult to explain ourselves that energy can be stored in materials like coal, oil and, in this case, food, and then released.

The release of energy from food through the process of digestion is what follow.
The food that we eat cannot be used by the body unless it has been changed into simple chemical materials; this happens as the food passes down the process of digestion and is turned into materials that can be absorbed by the body.

a good dietWhy does the body need energy?
At this stage, it would be sensible to remind ourselves that the body itself needs energy to keep ourselves alive and well by controlling the most basic functions such as:

  • keep the respiratory system working
  • keep the heart beating and the blood circulating in a proper manner
  • keep itself at the right temperature

Although all foods provide the body with energy, some are richer in starch, some in fats, same in oils than others and so on, all of these can be converted into energy by the body.

In addition to their body-building and energy giving properties, foods contain substances called minerals and vitamins which are essential to the healthy working of the body.

Discriminating from one or another and allowing the intake of safe doses is a good way to avoid non healthy foods and still getting the right amount of energy our body requires on a daily basis.

Let me know in the comments below.


I will be happy to read and reply all of your comments. also feel free to share on any of the Social Media listed below and start the "Conversation".
As always, thanks for popping in and see you soon.

about the author

Apart for being a busy IT executive, Tito has a passion for cooking for friends and family and is a first class wines connoisseur.

grocery shopping

How to Choose Healthy Foods at the Supermarket?

The supermarket is laden with healthy and unhealthy foods. Due to clever marketing, it can sometimes be hard to identify which foods are healthy from those that are not. This article is a primer to clever grocery shopping!

1) Read food labels & avoid sugar

To know which products to choose, it is generally a good idea to read the food labels attentively. Ingredients contained in the product need to be listed in a specific order, where the ingredient found in the greatest amount is listed first and other ingredients then in descending order. As such, any food with “sugar” in the top 3 ingredients should be avoided. Manufacturers also use other words for “sugar”:

  • Dextrose
  • Dextrin
  • Maltose
  • Sucrose
  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Mono or diglycerides
  • Fructose

Generally speaking, any word ending in “-ose” is a sugar. Most foods that are healthy will not contain sugar or its synonyms in the top 3 ingredients.

2) Read food labels & avoid certain additives

When reading food labels, one quickly sees that many commercial packaged products contain many types of additives meant as flavor enhancers, texturizers or as food colouring. Some of the most important additives to avoid are listed below:

  • Partially hydrogenated fats
  • Artificial colouring
  • Artificial flavouring
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG)

Although these additives are found in minute amounts in a single item, researchers have now highlighted the fact that it is the additive effect of these synthetic chemicals that seems to be problematic. A little food colouring in our breakfast cereal, plus a little artificial flavouring agent in our cookies and some partially hydrogenated fats in our afternoon snack add up to a lot of nasty chemicals that hinder the body’s ability to function adequately. It is best to stick to food products with a short food label list and mostly nutrients that come “from nature” as found in unrefined produce or animal products from animals which were ethically raised.

3) General Guide to Healthy and Unhealthy Foods at the Supermarket

 

Generally
Healthy

Best
Avoided

Fruits
&
Vegetables
-Fresh fruits & vegetables
-Frozen vegetables
Canned vegetables are fine as long as there is no sugar added and are thoroughly rinsed before their consumption.

-Canned fruits
-Canned soups
They contain added sugars, texturizers and preservatives.

Starch -Wholewheat pasta/bread
-Brown rice
-Unprocessed grains
(buckwheat, quinoa….)
Wholegrains are 80% richer in fiber, vitamins and minerals than their refined “white” counterparts.

-White pasta
-White rice
-White bread
-Items baked with white flour
-Cookies from the store
-Potato chips

Sweet
Snacks

-Dried fruits
-Peanut butter Chocolate spread
and Breakfast cereals made with stevia.
-Molasses
-honey as a sweetening agent  
Total sugar content should be less than 25% per serving.

-Most breakfast cereals
-Sodas
-Most cookies from the store
-Most brands of peanut butter
-Chocolate bars
-Anything with sugar added

Those items typically contain refined sugar which accounts for more than one third of the nutritional content per serving.

Fats

Great to cook or bake with:
-Butter
-Grapeseed oil
-Coconut oil

These fats have a naturally high smoking point so do not oxidize to unhealthy damaged fats during cooking.

Great to have raw:
-Olive oil
-Walnut oil
-Flaxseed oil

These oils are very nutritious and high in beneficial fatty acids.

-Canola oil
-Peanut oil
-Soybean oil
-Any regular “cooking oil”
-Margarine
-Vegetable shortening

These oils are highly refined to achieve a high smoking point and are generally harmful for the body.

By choosing healthy foods when grocery shopping, we gradually de-sensitize our taste buds to the excessive amounts of sugar consumed yearly by individuals in developed countries (168 pounds per year per person!) and learn to provide our bodies with the necessary nutrients to stay energized and feel good.

Let me know in the comments below.


I will be happy to read and reply all of your comments. also feel free to share on any of the Social Media listed below and start the "Conversation".
As always, thanks for popping in and see you soon.

Mirko Francioni - Author of |Radiation mapping article for Epi Life Coach
about the author

Mirko is for people who knows him well a true motivator and inspirer. He has been the driving force in projects such as a wellness center in Thailand, a corporate on-line travel agency and membership club with over 120,000 members worldwide. Mirko has created a strong professional reputation as one of the leaders in the hospitality and fitness & recreation industries.