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.
So now we live in a world where sugar is everywhere and in everything, yet we should eat less of it.
And, of course, all of this simply begs the question—WHY DOES SUGAR TASTE SO GOOD?
At Smiles Nambour we’d like to help you navigate the sugar health-minefield. It’s worth it for you dental and general health.
Why is Sugar Dangerous to your Health?
Why is sugar bad for teeth? – The bacteria that form plaque use sugar as their form of energy. When they are energised by sugar they grow more quickly and plaque grows in both size and thickness. Bacteria even use the sugar like sticky glue to bind themselves to the tooth surface.
The plaque that you don’t remove from your teeth, through brushing or via saliva produces acid as it feeds on sugar, and this leads to cavities and more serious dental issues.
How Sugar Effects Overall Health
The effects of sugar on the body may not always be instant and visible. Below is a list of ways sugar wreaks havoc on our insides.
- Sugar suppresses your immune system. Itweakens your defences against viruses and infectious disease by inhibiting the action of defensive white blood cells that fight foreign invaders. Sugar also alters the balance of your gut flora, which helps maintain your immune health and overall wellbeing.
- Sugar feeds cancer. Sugar has been connected with the development of cancer of the breast, ovaries, prostate, rectum, pancreas, lung, gallbladder and stomach.
- Sugar contributes to the development and progression of diabetes. New research suggests sugar is linked to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
- High blood sugar can cause damage to kidneys, nerves, heart, eyes and feet.
- Sugar leads to weight gain and abdominal obesity. Abdominal obesity is the most dangerous and is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
- Sugar contributes to behavioural problems in kids. Sugar can cause a rapid rise of adrenaline, leaving children unable to focus, hyperactive, exhausted and grumpy.
- Sugar interferes with the mineral balance in your body. Sugar can cause chromium and copper deficiencies and interfere with absorption of calcium, iron and magnesium.
- Sugar accelerates the ageing process and encourages wrinkles! Sugar consumption produces free radicals that promote oxidative damage and break down collagen (necessary for skin elasticity and suppleness) leading to more wrinkles at a younger age.
Defeating Sugar in Your Daily Diet
Use these simple tips to reduce sugar in your diet:
- Remove sugar (white and brown), syrup, honey and molasses from your pantry.
- Don’t add sugar to drinks – from coffee to iced-tea, this is an easy way to cut.
- Buy sugar-free or low-calorie beverages.
- Avoid fruit canned in syrup, especially heavy syrup.
- Instead of adding sugar to cereal or oatmeal, add dried or fresh fruit
- When baking cut the sugar called for in your recipe by one-third to one-half.
- Instead of adding sugar in recipes, use extracts such as almond, vanilla, orange or lemon.
- Enhance foods with spices instead of sugar; try ginger, allspice, cinnamon or nutmeg.
- Substitute unsweetened applesauce for sugar in recipes (use equal amounts).
- If you do consume sugary foods or drinks, rinse your mouth with water when you are finished.
Very few of us will completely cut sugar out of our diet, but even cutting down can help. To prevent and repair the damage that sugar and other dental threats can cause, be sure to brush and floss regularly and visit your Smiles Nambour dentist at least twice a year!
Your Trusted Dentist in Nambour
If you need a dental checkup or treatment, it’s critical to find a dentist who offers what you need and can assuage your anxiety. At Smiles Nambour we are happy to sit down with you and talk about any treatments you might want or need!
At Smiles Nambour, we provide top-quality dentistry with the help of cutting-edge instruments and caring staff!
A visit to Smiles Nambour is an investment in your dental health and attractive smile!
Same Day Appointment Available, Request it Now!