SUGAR IN BABY FORMULA
Most parents want to avoid sugar in baby food. They always check the ingredient list to keep away this “added sugar”. They may be surprised by such components like corn syrup or lactose. But don’t forget about the importance of carbohydrates for baby development. All these ingredients are carbohydrates needed for your baby’s growth and energy source.
Remember that carbs in formula should be simple and easy to split because your baby can’t digest complex carbohydrates.
So why does baby formula need sugar component? Let’s talk about some common ingredients used to provide carbohydrates in infant formula.
Lactose is a type of sugar that is used in baby formula. It is easy to digest and it is the main carb source in breastmilk. All babies are able to digest lactose. Many manufactures use lactose in baby formula because it imitates the composition of breast milk. According to EU standards carbohydrate source should be lactose. Sucrose is another sugar in baby formulas. It is second name of table sugar. It is the sweetest sugar that you can find in baby formula. Many researches have pointed that sucrose in functionally much better than glucose. EU standards don’t forbid the use of sucrose in baby formula. They regulate the amount of it in infant formula. Remember that it is not the worst choice.
The next type of sugar is corn syrup or corn syrup solids. The European Commission prohibit the use of it. But you may find it in formulas that are made in US. It is made from genetically modified products. Corn syrup is cheap and widely used. It is an attractive choice for some manufactures. Corn syrup has only glucose (starch sugar). Do not confuse it with fructose corn syrup. Corn syrup is a fast acting carbohydrate that means that it increases the level of blood sugar.
Corn maltodextrin is a little less sweet than corn syrup. Maltodextrin in European formulas is organic, so they are preferable to US formulas.
All babies need sugar. But remember that it is very important that the carbohydrate in baby formula is easy to digest. They are essential nutrients for healthy baby development.
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