It’s long been known that sugar in our food can lead to serious future health problems. But, whilst many of us have begun to think twice about having dessert with our meals, we are still overlooking the hidden sugars in our everyday shop.
Nowadays, sugar seems to be added to almost every product, with many preservation processes relying heavily on the sweet stuff. But, whilst it may be impossible to avoid completely, there are still a few products that are worth cutting down on.
Unlike their healthy counterpart, salad dressing contains a teeth-rotting blend of sugar and vinegar. Whilst the sugar is only there to balance out the acidity, it comes in no small quantity. Some vingarettes have as much as 7g of sugar per serving, though manufacturers will try and disguise it under pseudonyms such as dextrose and maltose. If you can’t eat your salad without it, make sure you rinse you mouth with water immediately after.
You might question whether meat is really that sweet, but nearly all processed cuts will have been preserved in some kind of sugar before reaching the shelves. When you chow down on a particularly chewy chunk, fragments of it can settle in between teeth, allowing the sugars to eat away at the enamel. Whilst you needn’t become a vegan overnight, limiting the amount of meat you eat could save you a trip to the dentist.
Another case of mistaken identity. Although pasta sauces may not taste sweet, a serving actually contains the same amount of sugar as a slice of cake (around 6-12 grams). Eating in moderation or making your own is the key to cutting out the calories and you won’t have to worry about
With up to half a teaspoon of sugar in each slice, white bread is certainly one to watch out for. Supermarket sandwiches are the worst, but even a regular loaf can push you towards your recommended daily allowance of 6 teaspoons. These sweeteners are usually added in the baking process, so again, it’s worth making your own if you’re partial to a toastie or two.
The health effects of drinking too much alcohol might seem like old news now, but there is more to a pint than just ethanol. Sugars are a major part of the fermentation process and tend to hang around a while after it too. One pint of cider or a double sherry contains 20g of sugar, enough to keep you going for 4 whole days. So, not only does overdrinking lead to problems with your general health, but with your oral health too, in some cases causing tooth decay.
Not only are crisps bad for your belly, they can also wreak havoc with your teeth too. In fact, dentists are just as likely to ward you off a packet of cheese and onion as they are a slice of cake. This is because crisps are notoriously good at getting stuck to your enamel and rotting away the outer layers. When chewed, the carbohydrates in the potato breakdown to form natural sugars and become a breeding ground for bacteria.
Author Bio: James Goolnik is a qualified dentist and founder of the award winning Bow Lane Dental Group. Voted the most influential person in Dentistry in the UK in 2011 & 2012 by trade magazine “Dentistry“, James’s book Brush is a number one best seller on Amazon with all the profits going to the charity, Dentaid .
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