Do I eat too much sugar? (Part 2)

Here are some ways that you may be consuming sugar without realising.

  • Eating foods containing added sugars such as glucose, fructose and dextrose.
  • Substituting foods with ‘sugars’ to foods with ‘added sweeteners’.
  • Eating pasta, bread, cereals and sauces as a ‘healthy’ option.
  • Drinking ‘sugar free’ drinks.

Natural sugars are still a form of sugar found in fruit and veg. if you hear the words ‘natural sugars’ don’t just assume that you can consume endless amounts. They are ‘natural’ because they occur without being mechanically added. The benefits of natural sugars come from the minerals, vitamins and nutrients that surround them. You still have to account for these sugars in your 90-120g daily so be careful if you are eating both fruit and sugary foods.

Added sugars are ones which you need to avoid. These are present in processed foods. For example, the additives such as glucose, fructose and dextrose.

Sometimes it’s easy to think that we’re going for the healthy options but in fact, our foods are packed with hidden sugars. Let’s put this into perspective: 33g of sugar equates to 8 teaspoons of sugar!

Americans consume 5x more daily sugars than they are supposed to and consume around 156 pounds of sugar per year (the majority being added sugars).

There are small changes you can make to the way you view sugar that will help with your overall health as well as your teeth. The reason sugar impacts our teeth in such a drastic way is down to two main things; sugar alters our mouths’ PH levels and it produces excess acid.

Our saliva naturally maintains a certain healthy balance of bacteria. This bacteria helps level our PH which prevents us from damage. However, when you consume sugar, the acid actually alters the PH which essentially throws your mouths processes upside down.

Here are some ways you can maintain good oral hygiene and stop sugar damage:

  • Cut down on your sugar intake
  • Eat carbohydrate rich foods between sugary foods
  • Brush your teeth twice daily
  • Minimise intake of soft drinks
  • Count naturally occurring sugars as your sugar fix as opposed to false sugars e.g. chocolate.

In our next post we will look at foods in more detail to examine the level of sugars they contain and the affect they have on the teeth.