A new online tool is born to compare how much sugar our children consume with how much they should consume to avoid health risks
Excessive consumption of sugar in the diet can cause health problems. According to the Larns (Reference Intake Levels for the Italian Population) drawn up by the Sinu (Italian Society of Human Nutrition), the consumption of sugars (those naturally present in foods and those added) should be limited to quantities of less than 15% of the energy introduced daily, while a high intake, i.e. greater than 25% of the total daily energy, is to be considered potentially risky for the development, for example, of obesity is diabetes. In this sense, the most at risk are the children, more subject to the consumption of baked goods, sweets, juices, ice cream For this reason, nutritionists and pediatricians engaged in the service of Grana Padano Nutritional Education, the sector of the Grana Padano Consortium that has been promoting and disseminating the principles of balanced nutrition for over ten years, have devised a tool which allows you to calculate sugar that every day is consumed compared to what one should consume, also proposing healthy alternatives with less sugar.
Sugarometer, a tool for pediatricians, schools, families
The sugar meter can be used by smartphone, tablet or PC and is already available at this link. The program, supporting a pediatricians, schools and families, it can be used by the doctor and dietician as part of the food anamnesis, in the classroom as a teaching tool and in the family to guide the parent towards a more responsible choice of food for their children.
How the sugar meter works
With a simple click on the foods that are consumed daily and after indicating the quantity, the tool adds up the simple sugars consumed in a day from males and females from 2 to 17 years, measuring both the sugar naturally present in the food, and the added sugars during the processing of baked goods, ice creams, creams, etc., such as sucrose and fructose. After displaying the sum of the teaspoons of sugar consumed in a day, the program la compare with the amount of sugar you should be taking instead according to the Larn benchmarks. The sugar meter does not just warn about the excessive consumption of sugars, but also provides a free pdf manual that offers healthier alternative foods with less sugar, including simple recipes to make at home, as well as useful notes to learn more about the food and its consumption limits.
Beware of added fructose
An 8-year-old male child should on average consume no more than 7-8 teaspoons of sugar in a day, including that naturally contained in the food. According to the experts it is fine favor the sugar naturally contained in food, for example fructose in fresh fruit or lactose in milk, but you have to limit the added amount and to sweeten prefer honey. It is also important to limit the consumption of beverages and foods formulated with fructose and high fructose corn syrups, as well as reducing the use of fructose such as sweetener.
"In addition to the excessive consumption of sugar, a big problem that we have been observing for a long time, in recent years the intake of fructose added to drinks and foods has increased," explained the professor Claudio Maffeis, Full Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Verona. «This contributes to the appearance of fat liver and the increase in circulating levels of lipids and has been indicated as one of the factors that promote excess weight and metabolic syndrome. So good there fresh fruit, but pay attention to sucrose (commonly understood sugar as well as disaccharide, ie glucose + fructose) which is usually added to drinks and foods, to fructose used to sweeten some drinks and to fruit juices or packaged foods .