With Halloween less than a week away, kids will be eating all the candy they can find, and sugar levels will be through the roof. But how much sugar is too much, and what are the signs your child is sugar overdosing?
Dr. Christopher Calapai D.O., a New York-based Osteopathic Physician board-certified in family and anti-aging medicine, is giving a rundown on sugar intake and what you need to know to keep your child out of a Halloween candy-induced sugar coma. You can find that below.
How Much Sugar Is Too Much?
For children, it depends on their age and their calorie intake, but as a general rule of thumb, 12-25 grams a day is just enough.
What Are the Signs of Too Much Sugar?
#1: Sugar High
A sugar high happens when there are extremely high levels of blood sugar, which results in high energy and shaking of the hands. The candy equivalent is three Butterfingers, which is 30 grams.
#2: Sugar Crash
A sugar crash usually happens within an hour, and glucose levels in the body will drop, causing energy to decline as well. During a crash, you’ll most likely be fatigued, hungry, and may also have a headache. To get rid of a crash, your child’s best bet is to eat an apple or banana.
#3: Your Child is Craving More
Sugary foods release dopamine, which is the same chemical released during drug use. Once your child starts eating more sugary foods, such as those Halloween treats, the craving for more will continue.
When you eat a lot of sugar, your blood sugar levels rise, which causes the pancreas to produce insulin, a hormone that prompts cells to absorb blood sugar for energy and storage. When you have too much insulin, your blood sugar crashes, which makes you crave more sugar. So, if you cut back on sugary food, you won’t make a lot of insulin, and then you will stop craving the sugar.
Choose lower carb, lower glycemic foods, like berries, veggies, proteins, protein shakes, protein bars and yogurt. Pears are a great alternative, since it has almost 14 grams of sugar and reduces the risk of heart disease.
#4: Sleeping is Almost Impossible
Serotonin is released, which is our relaxation hormone, and is needed for a child to have a good night’s sleep. If insomnia issues arise, it’s time to reduce sugar intake.
About the doctor:
Dr. Christopher Calapai, D.O. is an Osteopathic Physician board certified in family medicine and anti-aging medicine. Proclaimed the “The Stem Cell Guru” by the New York Daily News, Dr. Calapai is a leader in the field of stem cell therapy in the U.S. His stem cell treatments have achieved remarkable results in clinical trials on patients with conditions as varied as Alzheimer’s, arthritis, erectile dysfunction, frailty syndrome, heart, kidney and liver failure, lupus, MS and Parkinson’s. He has worked with Mike Tyson, Mickey Rourke, Steven Seagal, and Gotham’s Donal Logue; and as a medical consultant for the New York Rangers. Connect with him via Twitter @drcalapai or at www.drcal.net.