In our previous post, we began the discussion of the dangers of sugar. Knowing just how damaging sugar can be is only half of the battle. Once you understand how you and your family are at risk, you have to make some tough decisions.
So, What Can Be Done?
In order to truly overcome sugar, you have to change the habits you have. At least, these are the habits that many of us have! Research shows that you don’t have to cut all extra sugar out of your diet in order to be healthy, but we do need to cut back a lot. Studies show that adults get an extra 20 teaspoons of sugar (sweeteners added to processed food) EACH DAY. If we can cut that back to six-nine teaspoons, we will be much better off.
Change the Way You Shop
The process of consuming less sugar begins with the way you shop. When was the last time you turned a box or bottle over and read the list of ingredients? Luckily, you don’t have to begin shopping at a specialty grocery store (though some patients find that to be very helpful).
Some food companies are hearing the cry for less sugar, so you can often find an alternative to your usual brand. All you have to do is look! You will sometimes see the label, “No added sugar” or “No high fructose corn syrup,” but it is a good idea to check the label just to be sure.
It is also helpful to make a list and stick to it! It’s much easier to make a healthy decision when you are sitting at home making the list instead of standing in front of the grocery aisle. Stores know how tempted we are, and they won’t make it easy for you!
Change the Way You Eat
Changing the way you eat is much easier said than done. We eat the way we eat for a reason, but some families can make changes to their diet and meal-preparing process simply by making a decision to do so.
Quick and easy prepared food at the grocery is not what’s best for your family. It is full of sweeteners and added sugar (even the savory meals!) that you just don’t need! Take some time to check the labels the next time you go shopping. It’s ok to keep these types of meals for emergencies (because they are usually better than eating fast food), but try something different.
Fresh vegetables and proteins are a great way to cut back on the amount of sugar your family is exposed to. Preparing food this way takes more time, but the benefit far outweighs the cost. Many families find meal preparation easier with a slow-cooker and preparing freezer meals ahead of time for those busy weeknights when everything is going at once!
Change the Way You Drink
One of our biggest problems in this country is our addiction to sweet beverages. Whether it is juice, sweet tea, special coffee drinks, or soda, every time you indulge in one of these sweet drinks, you are bathing your smile in more sugar! And don’t think that diet drinks are your savior. For example, diet soda is actually more acidic than regular soda, and research is showing that it makes your body crave even more sugar!
It’s good to get in the habit of drinking water throughout the day. Keep a reusable water bottle next to you at all times. We also encourage you to get your children to drink milk during meals. For many people, breaking the sweet drink habit is the most difficult part of breaking the sugar addiction.
Care For Your Teeth!
As we said in our previous post, partaking in sugar is not the end of your health, but over-indulging in sugar absolutely can be! Even if you cut most of the added sugar out of your diet, you will still find naturally occurring sugars in the fruit and vegetables that you eat. That’s why no matter what happens with your diet, you should always make dental care a top priority.
Brushing, flossing, and using an antiseptic mouthrinse are three great ways to maintain your healthy, clean teeth at home. Coming into the office for a cleaning every six months is yet another way that you can prioritize your smile’s health.
Contact Our Office Today!
Decay prevention is the name of the game. If you can avoid decay, you can expect to see your teeth last for the rest of your life. Caring for your teeth is only part of the battle. Avoiding harmful things, like sugar, is necessary for maintaining a healthy smile.
Contact our office today to set up your next cleaning and exam. We can’t wait to hear from you soon and help you have a happier, healthier smile today!