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With all dentists actively discouraging sugar consumption, there must be some truth in it all right? In general, the daily average consumption of added sugar in 300 calories per individual. That is as much as 20 tablespoons of sugar!
According to an article on Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare published in 2015, we are accustomed to consuming sugar in the following ways the most:
- Sodas, sports drinks and energy solutions
- Candies, table or processed sugar
- Baked goods like cakes, cookies etc.
- Packaged fruit juices and drinks
- Dairy items, desserts like ice cream, yogurt and gelato.
- Cereals, and sweetened snacks.
Also, there are a host of sugar substitutes which we keep consuming because it doesn’t look like, or sounds healthier than white processed sugar.
All these substances are actually as bad as sugar for our health.
- High Fructose Corn Syrup
- Coconut Palm Sugar or jaggery
- Evaporated Cane Juice
SO, what is my alternative to sugar?
If you have to avoid white sugar, you can lean towards xylitol, sorbitol etc. These actually are naturally occurring substances in plants and they have lower glycemic index than white sugar- and most importantly, do not promote tooth decay. These are extracted from fruits, fermented foods, natural herbs, beets, stone fruits, berries, and starches.
Why should we stay away from sugar though?
Weight gain and obesity is the first thought that comes to our mind when we think of over consumption of sugar. Then there is cholesterol imbalance, diabetes, hypertension and pancreatic cancer. And you can add to this whole list of serious diseases the added possibility of serious tooth decay, oral degeneration and diabetes induced mouth sores.
What should we be doing?
- Always read the labels. Make sure you avoid products that say ‘added sugar’. GO through the contents/ ingredients of what you are consuming- unless you are sure of what you are putting in your mouth, you will never be able to get on top of your health.
- Just get rid of the sodas and fruit drinks. If you need anything other than water, just go for freshly pressed juices. Besides, energy drinks aren’t that great for you.
- Slowly begin to replace sugar with sugar alcohols in your food. You could also go for artificial sweeteners like saccharine.
- Keep a track of your sugar intake with the help of a calorie tracking app.
- Chew sugarless or oral gums and mints after a meal. They are a good solution to keeping your mouth clean in between brushes.
- Try doing a lot of exercises to burn off excess calories
- Don’t keep goodies with processed sugar and calories at home.
- Go for regular dental checkups. You need to be seeing the dentist at least once every two months, or else your teeth are gone for good.
- Finally, if you are suffering from tooth decay, make sure you get it treated at the nearest dental clinic. Dental fillings are one of the least expensive and painless procedures, but if you don’t get it done on time, it will aggravate and ruin not just all your teeth- but actually make the eventual oral treatment a lot worse.