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IS SUGAR REALLY BAD FOR US?

14th March 2018

In recent months, we have been seeing a lot of coverage on sugar. Sugar is everywhere, whether it is naturally occurring sugar, such as those found in fruit, or free sugar, monosaccharides and disaccharides that are added to food and beverages.

Sugars really aren’t all that good for your health. They are an unnecessary source of calories, and health experts are becoming more concerned about the issues associated directly with excessive sugar consumption. Excess sugar can lead to obesity and Type 2 diabetes and other associated diseases. The list of problems just goes on.

In addition sugar isn’t good for your dental health. Frequent sugary attacks on your teeth causes rapid dental decay leading to cavities. This could mean that the tooth will require a filling. We are all at risk of tooth decay.

I find myself using the myfitnesspal.com for general health advice when it comes to diet and training. Here are some of their suggestions on how to cut sugar from your diet.

Go Natural

Eat natural sources of sugar over added sugars. Added sugars like honey, agave, and high fructose corn syrup contain empty calories meaning they have zero nutritional value. Fill up on fresh fruit and vegetables that slows the rate of absorption of carbohydrates, as well as improving cholesterol levels, digestion and help with weight loss.

Pick low sugar produce

A cup of raspberries contains 5 grams of sugar, 1 cup black beans contains less than 1g of sugar. Fructose found in fruits have nutritional benefits but keep in mind, there is still plenty of sugar being consumed.

Get used to reading labels

Food labels do not differentiate between added and natural sugars, instead it lumps it together. Therefore, to find out what hidden added sugars are present, check the ingredients list. Sugar lurks behind these words – molasses, organic cane sugar, fruit juice concentrate, malt sugar, corn syrup, honey, syrup, and words ending in “ose” such as dextrose, lactose, maltose, fructose, sucrose.

Fill up on healthy fats and savoury foods.

Eat more nuts, seeds, avocados, olives, and salmon. Healthy fats will displace excess sugar from the diet and keep the body satisfied for longer so you are less likely to have energy dips between meals prompting a quick sugar fix. To avoid the doom and gloom feeling of eating less sugar, embrace your favourite savoury foods in all their forms. Try new combinations of them, be more experimental with foods and try to enjoy the process of finding savoury alternatives that you really get excited about.

Do you have a sweet tooth?

Set limits on how to enjoy your sweets. Maybe you have carrot cake once per week or include an after eight after dinner. Setting boundaries around what sweet treats you indulge will mean you will enjoy them when allow yourself to eat them.

Drinks!!

Sugar in tea, fruit drinks at lunch, or that coke when socializing. Look to cut down the amount of sugar gradually to allow a natural shift in your taste preference for it. A good start would be to cut the amount of sugar in your tea.

Customers of The Gentle Dental can visit myfitnesspal.com or actiononsugar.org or Sugar Smart for more information. Alternatively, discuss this is more detail with your dentist or hygienist and we can help you put a plan together to change your habits for better dental health and ultimately better general health.

Image courtesy of  Hidden Sugar

Ali.

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