As time goes on, the evidence increasingly suggests that refined sugar is more damaging to the body than we previously thought. Recent evidence supports s safe limit of 30g of sugar per day for an adult and less for children.
1. Swap regular soft drinks for diet soft drinks – this is an easy way to cut down sugar intake. Be aware however that diet soft tissues can still be acidic and can cause acid erosion of the teeth if drank to excess (3 or more a day). I have found some people worry about the artificial sweeteners in low calorie drinks. However, whilst I encourage on-going research regarding the safety of these, the wealth of evidence of them causing harm is nothing compared to the wealth of evidence of the harm of refined sugars. Be aware that one can of Coca Cola has more then a whole day’s allowance of sugar in one go.
2. Check the sugar content of your favorite treats – coffees with flavored syrups can contain very high levels of sugar. For example, a Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino contains 66g of sugar, more than 2 days allowance. Be aware of how much sugar there is in the things you eat and drink regularly and try not to go over 30g per day.
3. Watch out for high sugar breakfast cereals – even cereals marketed as ‘healthy’ can have very high sugar levels. Don’t trust the marketing, check the label.
4. Watch out for sneakily named sugars – sucrose, glucose, fructose, maltose, molasses, hydrolysed starch, corn syrup and honey are all essentially sugar.
5. Sugar in Alcoholic drinks – sugar in alcoholic drinks makes up 11% of out daily sugar intake so remember to include this when you tot up your 30g!
6. Never have sugar in tea and coffee – hot drinks are sipped at slowly. This prolongs the sugar attack on the teeth. If you must, swap for a sweetener.
7. Try and opt for teeth healthy snacks – try cheese, nuts, fresh fruit, toast, or crackers. Dried fruit is a no-no though. It’s sticky texture combined with the concentrated nature of the fruit sugars are damaging for teeth.