How Much Sugar Are You Really Eating?

Most patients fully understand that sugar can be your smile’s worst enemy, and many do try to avoid it. However, sugar is quite the sneaky food ingredient, and manufacturers don’t make the sweet stuff as easy to spot as you may think. For the betterment of your oral health, it may be worth getting a closer look at how much sugar you are really eating and a few ways to avoid taking in too much.

Surprising Places Sugar Can Be Hiding

You may believe you probably don’t take in a lot of sugar. Perhaps you only have a teaspoon in your coffee, only occasionally eat a sweet treat, and don’t really like candy. Nevertheless, you could be eating far more sugar than you realize. Consider the following examples:

  • One cup of lowfat yogurt may contain more than 45 grams of sugar
  • A single tablespoon of some types of ketchup can contain as much as a whole teaspoon of sugar
  • A 20-ounce sports drink can offer 9.5 teaspoons of sugar
  • One large coffee from some major coffee chains can have up to 11 teaspoons

Watch Out for Sugar Under Different Names

Sugar gets labeled by a plethora of names by manufacturers. You may examine an ingredient list, not see “sugar,” and think you are fine. There are actually an astounding 56 names for sugar, including:

  • Maltodextrin
  • Dextrose
  • Maltose
  • Fructose
  • Galactose
  • Lactose
  • Cane juice crystals
  • Evaporated cane juice

The list could go on. About 68 percent of packaged foods have sugar in them, so you do really have to be careful about what you eat to protect your teeth.

Trade-In Sweetness for Healthy Flavor

It is natural to prefer sweetness in your foods and beverages when you consistently take in the flavor. However, once you start cutting down on sugar, you will find that the actual flavors of the food can be much more prevalent. For example, in a piece of homemade chocolate fudge, cutting down the sugar leaves you to experience the flavor profile of the cocoa used. In many cases, you can drop added sugar in foods you make at home and be more liberal with healthier flavors.

Keep Your Smile Healthy with a Mountain View Dentist to Help

Sugar can be hard to avoid, so taking good care of your teeth is ever-important. If you need help with your oral health plans, reach out to us at Cassara Dental to schedule an appointment.

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