You may already know about the health benefits of reducing the amount of sugar you eat, and equally you may already know that sugar is a great source of food for the bacteria which can cause dental decay. If you can cut down the amount of sugar you eat then you greatly reduce your chances of dental decay, so here are 10 ways to kick your sugar habit.
1 – Eat regularly
Eat 3 balanced meals and 2 healthy snacks per day, this will help prevent your blood sugar levels dropping dramatically. The more hungry you feel the more you will stray toward sugary snacks and junk food.
2- Eat less processed food and be ‘label aware’
Choose natural foods that haven’t been processed. Real food is fresh and can perish. Packaged, branded food is often processed and contains added and/or hidden sugars. Look out for hidden sugars such as sucrose, fruit juice, maltodextrin and honey. Food labels are listed by mass, some manufacturers can use many types of sugars in small amounts to fill out one product.
3 – Choose your breakfast wisely
Breakfasts containing high starch and added sugar will only lead to cravings later in the day as your blood glucose spikes and dives. Eggs, fats and whole grains (whole oats, wheat, brown rice) can help you feel fuller for longer, with slow-release energy.
4 – Fruit, not fruit juice
The fibre in whole fruit helps us to balance out its sugar content. Smoothies and juices shred or remove the fibre completely which expose us to high levels of fructose, which raises blood sugar. Stick to water if you’re thirsty.
5 – Using spices to add natural sweetness
Use spices and herbs to add a natural sweetness to foods. Add nutmeg, cinnamon or coriander to your food to kill off cravings.
6 – Keep yourself busy
Filling your day with distractions, even a simple stroll can help you ignore the nagging need for a sugar hit.
7 – Get enough physical exercise
Exercise improves your insulin sensitivity which helps with blood sugar levels. By increasing muscle mass you increase your body’s ability to use energy from food and reduce fat.
8 – Get enough sleep
Tiredness can tempt us to use sugar for extra energy. Aim to get adequate sleep. Look at the causes of stress or emotional issues that may be pushing you to find comfort in junk food.
9 – Change your buying habits
Keep sugary snacks and junk food out of the kitchen and office. You then won’t have access to it when temptation hits. Try whole fruits and unsalted nuts and seeds when hunger strikes.
10 – Drink, Drink, drink… Water that is!
By keeping hydrated and drinking plenty of water you will reduce the likelihood of turning to sugar filled juices or fizzy drinks in order to quench your thirst.
As you will know our dental practice in Portishead on the outskirts of Bristol is dedicated to helping you maintain your oral health with dental health care advice and treatment where necessary. If you find yourself in need of such advice on how to keep your teeth fresh and healthy for life please give us a call or request an appointment online.
*Images sourced from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/
Content adapted from Babi Chana BSC Nut Med.