A little sugar: How much is your daily sugar intake?
A breakfast bar in the morning, an afternoon cup of tea, an evening biscuit in front of the TV – it can be easy to forget how much sugar we eat each day. But do you know the damage sugar is doing to your overall health and teeth?
The truth about sugar
During a typical day, it’s easy to consume over 100g of sugar. That’s more than three times the recommended daily amount.
See a typical day’s intake below:
Breakfast: Bowl of cereal and toast with jam (30g of sugar)
Lunch: Sandwich, banana, yoghurt and chocolate bar (70g of sugar)
Dinner: Chicken curry and rice (10g of sugar)
Total: 110g of sugar, of which 80g is added sugar
Worryingly, the list above doesn’t include snacks, sugary drinks or sugar added to tea of or coffee.
In the UK, adults are advised to eat no more than 30g of added sugars a day and children should have less than this (between 19g – 24g maximum depending on age).
Added sugars are found in most processed foods including:
- Sweets and chocolate
- Ready made sauces and ready meals
- Fizzy drinks
- Fruit juice drinks
- Cereals and cereal bars
You’ll also find sugar in natural food sources too, like milk and fruit, but you don’t need to worry about those types of sugars as much.
Why is sugar bad?
Added sugar doesn’t benefit our health in any way. It contains no essential nutrients and is bad for our oral health too.
Harmful bacteria feeds on the sugars you eat to create acids that destroy tooth enamel. The more sugar you eat (and the more often you eat it) the more damage your teeth will be subject to and the higher the risk of cavities.
Too much sugar can also lead to health concerns and disease as well as insulin resistance, diabetes and obesity.
How to cut sugar and help your teeth
Making a few adjustments to your diet and habits can help your long-term health along with your oral health.
We recommend that you:
- Avoid low fat diet foods as these tend to be higher in sugars to replace the fats. If you’re watching your calorie intake, eat smaller portions of your normal meals rather than low fat meals.
- When you do eat sugar, make sure you eat it during meal times. Snacking on sugary foods only increases the number of acid attacks on your enamel. Limiting your sugar intake and frequency of eating sugar foods is vital if you want to fix any damage.
- Chewing sugarless gum is a great way to beat sugar cravings. Chewing gum also increases saliva flow, bathing the teeth in minerals and strengthening the teeth.
Want to improve your smile in 2017? If so, why not explore our Smile Makeover treatments? We’ll enhance your smile in no time!
Do you have any tips for reducing sugar in your diet? If so, drop us a tweet @APSmilecare