Sugar is one of the biggest culprits in our country’s ever-declining dental health problem, with more than 80% of Americans suffering from gum disease. Not only does sugar become food for the ‘bad’ bacteria in your mouth making dental plaque so acidic that it attacks tooth enamel, but it can negatively affect the body in numerous ways.
The human body just isn’t designed to process the high levels of sugar that most of us are consuming nowadays, and with many mainstream brands misleading us with false advertising, it’s no wonder we’re going way beyond our recommended daily sugar intake.
But sugar tastes so good, so what are we supposed to do?
We get it, that sweet, tempting crystalline substance is pretty hard to resist, but if we don’t find ways to limit our daily sugar intake, it won’t just be just our teeth that suffer; excess sugar consumption is responsible for diabetes, heart disease, obesity, not to mention the dramatic effect it has on our emotional and mental state. Our story about Queen Elizabeth I’s sugar addiction, gives you a real-life example of just how detrimental sugar can be for our oral and overall health.
And look, we aren’t saying you need to give up your tasty treats altogether in order to be healthy- what’s a life without chocolate cake, after all?! We would just like to suggest some small, simple adjustments you can easily implement, which will make you feel a whole lot better about your sugar consumption. Then you can eat that occasional chocolate cake, guilt-free!
Avoid anything ‘low fat’.
Yes, we know some of you are probably gasping at the thought of this, but you know what happens when fats are taken out of food? They are replaced with sugar! In some cases, many low-fat foods contain more than five times as much sugar as their full-fat equivalents!
Stay away from ‘sugar-free’ foods.
These often contain artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, sucralose, and saccharin, which can often lead to overeating and spike your blood sugar so you actually crave more sweet! Plus, these artificial sweeteners are extremely harmful to your body. They are extremely toxic to your gut bacteria and can cause your bodies to become less tolerant of sugar. This can lead to a multitude of ailments such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, liver damage, and even cancer.
Swap white carbs for brown carbs!
Swap white bread, rice and pasta for whole grain alternatives. White, highly refined carbohydrates are fast release energy for your body causing your blood sugar levels to rise quickly. As a result, you will feel more hungry more quickly and will, therefore, eat more to compensate. Complex carbs (found in whole grains), on the other hand, are broken down more slowly and cause your blood sugar to rise gradually, keeping you fuller longer and dulling that sweet tooth.
make your own sauces!
Use herbs and spices to flavor your favorite dishes. Did you know that most sauces and condiments are packed full of refined sugars? So instead of using those tempting ‘nation favorites’, opt for chopped tomatoes and sweet vegetables to get the desired taste. Check out our blog ‘6 Surprisingly Sugary Foods’, which lists some other surprising foods that contain a lot more hidden sugars than what you may think.
Choose a healthy pick me up!
When you’re feeling that sugar craving start to gnaw at you, grab a piece of fruit, a handful of nuts or a small bowl of Greek yogurt (full-fat) with a dollop of honey. Protein and healthy fats are great for balancing your blood sugar and energy levels, as well as your mood. Another top tip to stop you binging on sugar is to drink a big glass of water about 15 minutes after you’ve eaten; it will help you feel full and take away your need to satisfy that sweet tooth!