Many people use breast milk substitutes to supplement the diet of the little ones or replace breast milk. Recent studies, however, suggest that the amount of sugar they contain is too high.
This can lead to negative consequences for the baby’s development. One of these may be a change in the microflora, which in the early stages of life is very sensitive to diet. Too high a sugar level can lead to the child being exposed to diabetes, obesity or other complex diseases.
Breast milk substitutes and breast milk
Ideally, you should prepare breast milk substitutes so that they are as similar to breast milk as possible in terms of nutritional value. By doing this, you ensure that your baby develops properly and that the body functions properly.
However, it may be a good idea to include slightly higher levels of certain nutrients such as omega-3. These fatty acids are beneficial for brain development, according to some studies. And they have very beneficial anti-inflammatory properties.
The amount of sugar in breast milk substitutes
Despite the fact that breast milk contains lactose, a sugar that our body is unable to digest in the early stages of life, breast milk substitutes contain an excessive amount of simple sugars. In fact, a large number of brands of ready-made breast milk substitutes for babies contain more than 7 grams per 200 ml of product. This sugar concentration is comparable to sports drinks.
It is worth mentioning that sugar, in addition to providing organoleptic properties, has a certain addictive effect, as was highlighted in some studies. It is therefore not a good idea to expose babies to too much of this nutrient. By doing so, the child’s taste may become accustomed to it in the future, which may lead them to end up consuming too much of it.
Sugar and complex diseases
More and more studies are finding a relationship between sugar consumption in non-athletic people and the risk of developing complex diseases over time. The relationship between simple sugar intake and diabetes or obesity is quite clear. In addition, specialists have linked the consumption of this nutrient to an increase in the risk of suffering from some types of cancer.
And if that was not enough, they also link sugar intake to the risk of cardiovascular disease in children. An article in the journal Circulation supports this claim. However , adding artificial sweeteners to products instead of sugar does not seem to be a solution that is particularly effective in combating the risk of such diseases.
The importance of reading the label on breast milk substitutes
For all these reasons, it is important to read the labels on a product before buying it. Especially if you buy food made for children. A continuous poor choice of ingredients can contribute to future health problems.
It is a good idea to choose breast milk substitutes that have low sugar levels and are rich in proteins and fatty acids such as omega-3. It may also be worthwhile to carefully supplement these products with probiotics.
This will help improve the composition of the microflora the baby has during the early stages of life. This will lead to positive consequences for their health in the medium and long term.
Breast milk substitutes sometimes contain higher sugar levels than recommended. In fact, the concentration of this nutrient is often similar to that found in sports drinks.
This nutrient is quite dangerous when consumed regularly and in high concentrations. Especially when consumed during the early stages of life.
For this reason, it is crucial to pay special attention to the labels of the products you buy and choose those that contain less sugar. We should not forget that breast milk contains lactose. As such, it may be a good idea to choose infant formulas that also contain it. Giving up lactose can generate intolerances in the short and medium term, which is not good.