Sure, we all know that sugar isn’t particularly good for our teeth, but did you know that cutting back on how much sugar you eat has other wide-ranging health benefits for everything from your weight to your mood to your skin? That’s why your Kansas City family dentist wants to help you cut down on sugar this year. One of the best ways to do that is to be aware of what you’re eating.
Of course, sugar comes into your diet from a lot of obvious sources. Ice cream, candy bars, and soda are all crammed with sugar, but you already knew that. If you’re eating one of those, at least you know what you’re getting into. Sugar is also hidden in all sorts of other foods, though, so here are a few sugary culprits that might not already be on your radar.
Breakfast Cereals & Bars. Some breakfast cereals are obviously sugary—the ones with all the marshmallows, for example—but lots of other breakfast cereals are packed with sugars, too. Breakfast bars often contain added sugar, not to mention honey and dried fruits that have sugar in them.
Ketchup & Tomato Sauces. Wait, ketchup? Yep. Most ketchup contains tons of added sugar and preservatives, as does a lot of BBQ sauce and some pasta sauce. Check the label before you buy. Sugar may come in the form of high fructose corn syrup or other sweet additives.
Protein Powders & Bars. Really? Just because you can buy them in the health section of your grocery store doesn’t mean that protein supplements aren’t loaded with sugar. They’re developed for athletes, after all, who need a lot of energy to keep up heavy daily routines. Chances are, you’re not doing as much training as they are. It’s also a good idea to remember that sugar can come in a lot of different forms, including fructose, dextrose, glucose polymers, maltodextrin, and sucralose.
Bread. Yeah, even bread. If it isn’t 100% whole wheat, it is often sweetened with high fructose corn syrup or molasses. Once again, check the label!
Low-Fat Yogurt. Low-fat doesn’t mean low sugar, and many times low-fat yogurt even has more added sugar than the full-fat variety so that it tastes better.
Peanut Butter. Even those labeled “natural” may still contain up to three to four grams of sugar per serving!
Salad Dressing. The amount depends on the variety, but salad dressing helps to make your salad more delicious often because it has added sweeteners.
Canned Fruit. Fruit already has a lot of naturally occurring sugars, and canned fruits are often packed in a sweet syrup that can add even more!
Energy Drinks & Vitamin Waters. Sure, some energy drinks are pretty obviously sugary. But did you know that even a bottle of vitamin water can contain up to 32 grams of added sugar?
Non-Dairy Milk. Whether you go for cashew, soy, almond, or oat milk, they are often packed with a surprising amount of sugar. Trying to cut down? Go for the “unsweetened” varieties.
Sugar is bad for your teeth because it’s a favorite food of the naturally occurring bacteria in your mouth. Adding sugar to that bacteria is a recipe for plaque which, in turn, damages tooth enamel and leads to cavities and gum disease.
Too much sugar is bad for the rest of your health, too. If you want to cut down, your Kansas City family dentist can help. Just call Blacker Family Dental in Kansas City at (816) 763-8400 or click here to schedule an appointment.