Refined sugar is a prime food source for disease-causing oral bacteria. As bacteria consume sugar they produce high levels of acid that over time can erode enamel and leave a tooth vulnerable for decay. Even worse, research now indicates that sugar is bad for our general health as well. And, yet, Australians still consume at least twice as much sugar as they should.
The solution to this is simple: cut back on refined sugar. The reality, though, is a bit harder. Many of us seem genetically hard-wired with a “sweet tooth,” perhaps a remnant of our early ancestors’ sense that sweet foods were a safe means to obtain energy.
Food manufacturers don’t help — the number of items with added sugar has exploded over the last several decades. We can trace a lot of this back to the unintended consequences of past government guidelines that called for removing fat from processed foods. But this also removed flavor, so manufacturers began adding sugar (under many names) to compensate.