Resolution #1: Cut Sugar from Your Diet
Whether you want to cut back on the sugar in your diet because the new federal dietary guidelines recommend it, or because you want to improve your overall health, we applaud you! While sugar tastes great, it doesn’t do much for us beyond pleasing our taste buds. Not only does a diet high in sugar add unwanted pounds, it also takes a toll on our dental health.
But unfortunately cutting sugar from the menu can be really tough. Not only are obviously sweet treats everywhere, tempting us constantly, but there is also a lot of added sugar that you didn’t even know about in packaged foods.
If you want to reduce the amount of sugar you and your family eat this year, you’ll need to take a look at all the places sugar hides. But first, start with the easy stuff:
- Replace sugary treats like ice cream, cookies, cake, and donuts with foods that contain natural sugars like fruit, unsweetened yogurt, and nuts.
- Instead of smoothies, sodas, and juices, all of which contain higher levels of sugar than most of us realize, make water or green tea your go-to drink.
Read food labels and watch out for added sugar. You’ll find added sugar in most packaged foods, even those that don’t taste sweet, such as:
- Tomato sauces, ketchup, salad dressings
- Granola bars, energy bars, and snack mixes
- Bread, crackers, soup
- Sweetened yogurt, dried fruit
When in doubt, choose packaged foods with “no added sugar” or “unsweetened” labels.
If you crave sugar, reach for healthy proteins and fats instead, things like nuts, avocados, lean meats, and cheese. When you choose healthy proteins and fats (particularly when paired with whole grain carbs), your blood sugar stays more stable, which will help minimize cravings.
Finally, beware supposedly healthy foods that are actually packed with sugar (like prepackaged smoothies, enhanced waters, and tea-juice drinks). Some of these products contain more sugar in a single bottle than an adult should consume all day.
Give our office a call when you are ready to schedule an appointment or if you have any questions about how best to care for your teeth. We’re here to help you keep your smile for a lifetime.