What foods are we getting wrong in our child's diet?

In our daily diet we consume many "healthy" foods that are loaded with sugar, with the attendant risk of cause tooth decay. In the eyes of parents, however, sweets and candy are the main culprits. That is why, when faced with a visit to the dentist and the diagnosis of several caries lesions in young children, parents ask the key question: "but if my child doesn't eat sweets, why does he/she have caries?

There are many foods with good health qualities but high in sugars.

  1. Probiotic milk drinks: are promoted as a "delicious fermented milk that helps your defences", attributing this power to the presence of the famous micro-organism Lactobacillus casei. What they don't tell us if we don't look at the label is that a 100g bottle contains 12.5 grams of sugars, sugar being the second ingredient after the two types of milk it contains (skimmed and semi-skimmed).
    It is not the microorganism Lactobacillus casei but the vitamin B6 added in this dairy product that is responsible for activating our defences. This B6 is obtained naturally with a balanced diet, being present in fruit, whole grains, vegetables, pulses, etc. What's more, a banana provides three times the amount of vitamin B6 than one of these measures, and at a lower price. 
  2. HoneyRaw honey has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. However, this does not make it a magical food, nor does it make it necessary. It can be consumed sporadically, but be careful when using it on a regular basis, as it can lead to an excess of free sugars and thus to other health problems.
  3. Biscuits: The industry's claim with biscuits is very extensive, but we will focus on "healthy" biscuits, supposedly with no added sugars, by analysing their composition: 
    • Refined vegetable oils (sunflower or palm oil), their consumption favours the development of cardiovascular diseases, type II diabetes and different types of cancer. 
    • Glucose syrup, fructose, maltodrextrin, corn syrup, etc. These sweetness components are directly linked to the risk of obesity, type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
    • Refined flours. Cereal flours are used which have had their fibre removed and consequently the glycaemic index is higher, i.e. the sugar rises faster in the blood. Those that appear as wholemeal are usually refined flours to which bran is added afterwards.
  1. Sugary drinkssweetened beverages: are those to which sugar of any kind has been added. Among the most common are soft drinks, packaged juices, sweetened dairy products and "energy" drinks.
    They are very harmful as their consumption is directly related to overweight and obesity, a direct cause of type II diabetes, cardiovascular problems, and some types of cancer. Excessive consumption can also cause dental erosion.
  2. Other added sugars: added sugar is free sugar that has been added to the food during its production (industry), preparation (cooks) or at the moment of consumption (when sugar is added to coffee for example).
    To know whether a sugar is added or not, we must look at the list of ingredients. Don't be fooled by "sugar-free" products, if added, ingredients include: sugar, sucrose, glucose, fructose, corn syrup, vegetable rice syrup, coconut sugar, invert sugar, maltodextrin, dest, dextrose, fruit concentrates, molasses, mint, honey.

Due to the edetrimental effect of free sugar on metabolism and the relationship of its consumption to weight gain, the WHO recommends that free sugar should not contribute more than 5% of the total calories ingested per day.

Their consumption masked within these "foodstuffs" represents one of the most significant The most influential factors in the development of such caries, and have in common that they are hyperpalatable (they are designed to make us always want more and make it difficult to stop eating them) and alter the natural satiety mechanisms, which can lead to over-consumption.