When consumed in excess, sugar can have a lot of negative impacts on our health. As well as the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other problems, sugar is also damaging to your teeth. Harmful bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar and producing a kind of acid that is harmful to your teeth. This weakens the enamel and leads to tooth decay and cavities over time.
So, we all know that we should limit the amount of sugar we have in our diet, but it’s not always as easy as that. There’s still debate about whether actual sugar addiction is a real thing or not, but it certainly does have properties that make it hard to quit. Sugary treats trigger a release of dopamine in our brains, a feel-good chemical that makes us want to repeat that behavior.
If you’re finding it difficult to cut back on sugar, then here are some tips that might help you.
Enjoy natural sweetness
Next time you’re looking for a sweet fix, reach for the fruit bowl instead. Fruit contains fructose, a natural sugar, which is much less harmful than added sugars. Try topping your porridge with fresh or dried fruit instead of sugar, and putting a banana in your packed lunch instead of a chocolate bar.
Dried fruit can be especially tasty if you’re craving something sweet because the sugar is a little more concentrated. And you can try freezing fruit, such as grapes, as a replacement for candy.
But remember to still watch your sugar intake when it comes to fruit and fructose.
Look for low sugar/no sugar alternatives
If there’s something sweet that you just can’t bring yourself to cut out, then look for low sugar or no sugar alternatives. Soda and juice are good examples. The high sugar content in soda is extremely bad for your teeth, so switching to a low sugar option can make a difference.
Dark chocolate is another good example. Natural cocoa is very bitter, so sugar is added to make it taste sweet. So, the lower the cocoa content, the higher the sugar. Look for dark chocolate with 70-80% cocoa content for a chocolate fix with less sugar.
Make your own sauces and dressings
Sometimes, when you think you’re going for the healthy option in the store or at a restaurant, it’s actually loaded with added sugar to make it taste better. Like when you make the healthy choice of making a salad for lunch, only to realize that your store-bought salad dressing isn’t as healthy as you thought.
If you start making your own salad dressings and sauces at home, then you know exactly what’s going into them and can better control your sugar intake.
As well as reducing your sugar intake, make sure that you brush and floss regularly, especially if you’ve been consuming sugary food or drinks, and go for regular dental check-ups. Contact Advance Family Dentists to book your check-up in Advance, NC.