sugar and teeth

HOW TO CUT BACK ON SUGAR

It can be very difficult to cut back on sugar as it finds its way into many of our daily foods.  Sugar is everywhere from our cereals and sandwiches to our daily dinners.

Sugar makes our food taste great making us crave more.  At the same time it does not fill us up, encouraging us to consume larger portions.

Fats and sugars have always been part of our lives.  However the new abundance of carbohydrates, in particular sugar, has led to the obesity and diabetes epidemic.

And as the saying goes “the mouth is the window to the body”.  The increase in cavities in our teeth, particularly in children, forms part of this same epidemic.

Helpful Hints to Cut Back on Sugar:

  1. Cut back on adding extra sugar to your food.  No more sugar in your tea and coffee and don’t add sugar to your breakfast.  Added sweeteners  include sugar, honey, molasses and maple syrup.  Identify them and start to remove them.
  2. Breakfast cereals are packed with sugar. They have been nicknamed breakfast dessert.  Choose options such as porridge and add fruit for sweetness, or make your own natural muesli where you can control the amount of sugar.  There are low sugar cereal options so read the handy ingredient list.   1 teaspoon of sugar = 4gms.  Or choose another options such as eggs and toast.
  3. Aim for no more than about 25 grams (6 teaspoons) of  sugar each day.
  4. Avoid juice or dilute your juice by 50% with water. You make think juice is healthy but by removing the fruit fiber you are intensifying the sugars and drinking the sugars of 4 oranges,  instead of eating 1 orange.
  5. Choose fruit and veges. It is possible to overeat fruit and consume too much sugar.  However most people find this difficult to do, as the fiber in fruit and vegetable is very good at filling us up.
  6. No more soft drink. Soft drink represents the single biggest problem for your teeth.  It is loaded with sugars and acid’s and can destroy teeth is a very short time.
  7. Check savoury foods for sugar. Sugar has managed to find its way into foods we do not expect.  Check your pasta sauces, crackers and spreads such as mayonnaise and pickles.  These are often loaded with sugar.
  8. Avoid bad habits such as snacking for a quick sugar fix. Snacking creates the perfect environment for cavity causing bacteria.  Without other foods or water to wash away the sugars, the bacteria are free to feed and produce acid.

Little by little it is possible to significantly cut back on your sugar, making room for the times in life you require a little treat, such as Easter!

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