When you made the decision to breastfeed, you knew from Day One you would have to make adjustments or sacrifices to your lifestyle in order to cater to baby\u2019s needs. Some of these adjustments or sacrifices concerned your social and working life, your sleep and your availability to baby in order to nurse. Yet one more sacrifice is expected of you \u2500 and that involves your diet. As you already know, every single thing you eat is transmitted through your breastmilk. Apart from allergens, colic-inducing gas, infections, parasites and microbes\u00a0 (read the review here) that are present in your breastmilk, you could also pass on secondhand sugars from consuming too much fruit, sweet junk food and sugary beverages. A study has shown that women who drank diet soda each day during pregnancy were more likely to have a baby with a high body mass index, a huge indicator of obesity. Secondhand Sugar passed to Baby through Breastmilk Science Daily says in their report that secondhand sugar can be described as sugar that is "derived from a mum's diet", and passed on to baby through her breastmilk, as explained by Dr Michael Goran, founding director of the Childhood Obesity Research Center at the Keck School of Medicine and lead author of the secondhand sugar in breastmilk study published in 2017 in the journal Nutrients. This secondhand sugar has been identified as fructose. But what is especially alarming is \u2500 fructose is not a naturally occurring component of breastmilk. It's an alien ingredient in human milk composition because the only natural sugar that should be found in breastmilk is lactose. Alien Ingredient in Breastmilk: Fructose Fructose, on the other hand, is derived from fruit, fruit juices, processed food, shakes, smoothies, soda and drinks including ice-blended beverages, energy drinks, fruit cocktails, bubble tea and other local desserts \u2500 foods often consumed as lifestyle binges by mum. Fructose is often thought of as healthy because it is found in fruit. Part of the issue is that fructose is taken out of context and is now mostly consumed in processed foods and drinks rather than in whole, fresh fruit. This is why fructose is linked to health issues ranging from obesity to diabetes, and as Goran further elucidated, exposing infants and children to higher amounts of sugar during their growth and development period can produce problems with cognitive development and learning as well as create lifelong risk for obesity, diabetes, fatty liver disease and heart disease. Fruits are supposed to be good for lactating mothers but obviously, too much of a good thing (used in the wrong way), can be bad. Therefore, the takeaway to mum is: when breastfeeding, watch what you eat if you don\u2019t want to transmit negative long-term health outcomes to your precious one through your breastmilk. Secondhand sugar such as fructose and artificial sugars are very damaging to health. Store-Bought Baked Goods and Breads such as donuts, cookies and cakes feature high amounts of added fructose. Malaysia is Fattest in SEA Malaysia, as you may have already heard, has the dubious \u201chonour\u201d of being the fattest country in the region. We are the undisputed holder of this title for many years running now and it doesn\u2019t look like our No:#1 position will be challenged for a while. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit\u2019s Tackling Obesity in Asean report, Malaysia\u2019s prevalence of obesity is at 13.3%, which is the highest in Southeast Asia, said The Star report. Fructose is used liberally in ice cream as well as in jam, jelly, cnned fruits and a range of other Malaysian dessert and confectionery. Fructose is absorbed quickly and converted to fat in the liver. Increased fat in the liver is dangerous for your health and metabolism. (Image Credit: Flickr, IndiaMART) But obesity is not just limited to adults; children are keeping up in the overweight department too. It is not uncommon to see seven-year-olds weighing as much as 70kg who struggle with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and hypoventilation (snoring, obstruction of the airway or shallow breathing) due to having too much fat in the neck, chest and abdomen. Childhood Obesity \u2500 a Weighty Issue in the Country By 2025, 88,000 of Malaysian children are expected to have impaired glucose tolerance, 28,000 may suffer from Type 2 diabetes, a whopping 191,000 may have high blood pressure and 264,000 may suffer from first-stage fatty liver disease. (Image Credit: CyberRT) According to a study in Asia conducted by Prof Dr Poh Be Koon in 2013, Malaysia is also among the top three countries with a very high percentage (11.5%) of obese children (aged between six months and 12 years). In a 2015 National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS), 11.8% of children below 18 years of age were found to be obese. \u201cChildhood Obesity a Growing Health Crisis in Malaysia\u201d, reads a New Straits Times report published in July 2019. \u201cBased on the latest data, 1.65 million Malaysian schoolchildren are expected to be overweight or obese by 2025,\u201d it said. UM Specialist Centre (UMSC) paediatric endocrinology senior consultant Associate Prof Dr Muhammad Yazid Jalaludin said in the article, that breaking up that enormous number down, 88,000 of Malaysian children are expected to have impaired glucose tolerance, 28,000 may suffer from Type 2 diabetes, a whopping 191,000 may have high blood pressure and 264,000 may suffer from first-stage fatty liver disease. Surely, this is not the future you want for your child and although the main factor contributing to childhood obesity is pointed at genetics, it pays to ensure that you do not contribute to your baby\u2019s excessive weight gain by giving him secondhand sugar through your breastmilk. These are our favourite lifestyle binges. Fed to children, fructose can accelerate the growth of fat cells. Fructose found in breastmilk is likely due to what mothers ate or drank. Fructose should not be present in human milk. Infants ingesting it are not well-adapted to handle it. According to this article titled Fructose Detected in Breastmilk and is Linked to Risk for Obesity in Infants, here is how you can prevent passing on too much secondhand sugar to your baby through your breastmilk. \tAvoid products made with high-fructose corn syrup or with any added fructose \tReplace sugar-sweetened beverages, including fruit juices, with water or herbal tea \tFocus on eating whole foods rather than food products (which often contain sugars) \tReserve sweet bakery items, flavoured yogurts, and other sweetened foods for special treats rather than everyday staples List of Popular\u00a0Foods\u00a0that contain High-Fructose\u00a0Corn Syrup (HFCS) One 12-ounce can of soda can contain close to 50 grams of added sugar or 13 teaspoons which exceeds the daily limit of nine teaspoons of sugar for men and six for women. 1. Soda. Soda is well known for its high sugar content. One 12-ounce can of soda can contain close to 50 grams of added sugar. That's 13 teaspoons, which exceeds the daily limit of nine teaspoons of sugar for men and six for women. No matter how it gets sweetened, fizzy, sugary soda is not a healthy beverage. Its high sugar content contributes to obesity and diabetes. 2. Candy: Candy and candy bars are obviously mostly made of sugar. Several brands add HFCS too. This ingredient is often listed as the first ingredient. 3. Sweetened Yogurt: Sweetened Yogurt is often advertised as a healthy snack as it is low-calorie, nutrient-dense and high in probiotics. While it certainly can be healthy, several brands of yogurt, especially low-fat and fat-free yogurts, are nothing but sugar bombs. For example, a single serving of some flavoured, low-fat yogurts contains over 40 grams of sugar. Furthermore, HFCS is often the sweetener of choice for these types of yogurts. 4. Store-Bought Baked Pastries, Pies, and Breads: Store-Bought Baked Pastries, Pies, Breads etc such as donuts, cookies and cakes feature high amounts of HFCS. Bread itself is a carbohydrate which gets converted into sugar in the body. Whether white or brown bread with fibre, sugar is heavily used in their production. 5. Canned Fruits: Canned Fruits like canned pineapples, rambutan, lychee and longan are Malaysian favourites. They are peeled and stripped of their healthy fibre and are preserved and soaked in extremely sweet syrup. Although the fruit already contains plenty of natural sugar, HFCS is additionally added to heighten the sweetness. To avoid HFCS, choose fresh fruit so you don't have to worry about added ingredients. 6. Fruit Juice: While fruit juice provides some nutrients and antioxidants, it's a very concentrated source of sugar with little fiber. Although juice is naturally high in sugar, some companies sweeten it even more with HFCS. The amount of sugar in some juices is comparable to the amount added to soda. Some types of juice might even contain more sugar than soda! 7. Prepackaged Dinners: Prepackaged Dinners such as macaroni and cheese come with their powdered sauce where you need to add water to cook for a short time to make it into a meal. These foods usually come with HFCS. 8. Granola Bars: Granola bars consist of rolled oats combined with dried fruits and nuts. They seem healthy but many companies sweeten them with sugar or HFCS. Some granola bars have sugar content that is as high as candy bars. 9. Breakfast Cereal: Breakfast Cereals are advertised as healthy, but they are often heavily sweetened with sugar or HFCS. Find a cereal without added sugar or replace with a healthier alternative such as oatmeal. 10. Sauces and Condiments: Sauces and Condiments such as tomato sauce, chilli sauce, teriyaki sauce, barbeque sauce and so on. Just two tablespoons of barbecue sauce contain 11 grams of sugar, while a tablespoon of ketchup contains three grams. 11. Snack Foods: Snacks like chips, cookies and crackers contain HFCS more often than not. Look for healthier alternatives. Whole foods, such as vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, also make nutrient-dense alternatives to typical snack foods. 12. Non-Dairy Creamer: Non-Dairy Creamer seems harmless until you see the ingredients that get added to it. Typically, it is made mostly of sugar in the form of HFCS, in addition to several other unhealthy ingredients. Some surprising foods that we think are healthy but in actual fact are sugar bombs. Ketchup and chilli sauce, non-diary creamer, and low fat yoghurt all contain high doses of fructose. (Image Credit: IndiaMART,Rheology Lab) 13. Energy\/Sports Drinks: Energy\/Sports Drinks often seem like a hydrating quick fix from a workout or energy slump but these drinks are typically rich in HFCS and other ingredients that will do your body more harm than good. 14. Jam and Jelly: Jam and Jelly are always rich in sugar, but store-bought versions are more likely to contain HFCS. 15. Ice Cream: Ice Cream is supposed to be sweet, so it is always high in sugar and meant to be consumed in moderation. Many brands choose to sweeten their ice cream with HFCS. For more insights into breastfeeding, don't forget to visit Motherhood.com.my.