You’ve probably seen in the press recently so many campaigns to help people give up sugar, there are clear health advantages for reducing the amount we consume… And those health advantages include your teeth!
Sugar is responsible for feeding the bacteria in your mouth, which secrete acid as they digests that sugar. This acid is what attacks your teeth and causes dental decay if left unchecked. Reducing the amount of sugar in your diet reduces the amount of acid produced and therefore keeps decay to a minimum.
Of course, we always recommend regular brushing and dental visits, but if you want to give up sugar, here are our top 10 ways we recommend.
Once you have looked at our top tips for reducing the amount of sugar in your diet, why not take our #solihullsugarchallenge, details at the end of this post
1 – Eat regular meals
Eat 3 balanced meals and 2 healthy snacks per day, this will help prevent your blood sugar levels dropping dramatically. The more hungry you feel the more you will stray toward sugary snacks and junk food.
2- Choose whole foods and read the label
Choose natural foods that haven’t been processed. Real food is fresh and can perish. Packaged, branded food is often processed and contains added and/or hidden sugars. Look out for hidden sugars such as sucrose, fruit juice, maltodextrin and honey. Food labels are listed by mass, some manufacturers can use many types of sugars in small amounts to fill out one product.
3 – Don’t start the day with sugar
Breakfasts containing high starch and added sugar will only lead to cravings later in the day as your blood glucose spikes and dives. Eggs, fats and whole grains (whole oats, wheat, brown rice) can help you feel fuller for longer, with slow-release energy.
4 – Fruit, not fruit juice
The fibre in whole fruit helps us to balance out its sugar content. Smoothies and juices shred or remove the fibre completely which expose us to higher levels of fructose, which raises blood sugar. Stick to water if you’re thirsty.
5 – Spice up your life
Use spices and herbs to add a natural sweetness to foods. Add nutmeg, cinnamon or coriander to your food to kill off cravings.
6 – Keep busy
Filling your day with distractions, even a simple stroll can help you ignore the nagging need for a sugar hit.
7 – Get physical
Exercise improves your insulin sensitivity which helps with blood sugar levels. By increasing muscle mass you increase your body’s ability to use energy from food and reduce fat.
8 – Sleep and distress
Tiredness can tempt us to use sugar for extra energy. Aim to get adequate sleep. Look at the causes of stress or emotional issues that may be pushing you to find comfort in junk food.
9 – What you don’t have, can’t harm you
Keep sugary snacks and junk food out of the kitchen and office. You then won’t have access to it when temptation hits. Try whole fruits and unsalted nuts and seeds when hunger strikes.
10 – Drink plenty of water
By keeping hydrated and drinking plenty of water you will reduce the likelihood of turning to sugar filled juices or fizzy drinks in order to quench your thirst.
By looking after your teeth with daily cleaning and following a responsible and healthy diet you are far more likely to be able to keep your teeth fresh and healthy life which is, after all what everybody wants!
The Solihull Challenge #solihullsugarchallenge
Can you reduce the amount of sugar you consume? We challenge you to try some of the tips, tricks and advice listed above and then let us know how you’re doing.
Why not tweet us and let us know your top tricks for cutting down your sugar intake, we will be constantly monitoring #solihullsugarchallenge and promise to pass on your top tips to other people. Sharing information together and supporting each other to cut down the amount of sugar, we consume will help us all stay healthier and keep dentally fit.
Solihull Dental and Implant Centre is a Solihull-based dentist with a passion to help the local people smile with confidence with bright and healthy teeth.