Since you were a kid, you’ve always been warned against consuming too many sweets because they will rot your teeth. High sugar consumption not only ruins your health and weight but also affects your oral hygiene. The bacteria residing in your mouth loves to feed on sugar, which ultimately leads to tooth decay. Sugar is a high food additive, it’s added to drinks and processed foods in different forms. In our busy lifestyles, we tend to consume such foods without realizing the amount of sugar intake and its adverse effects. Consuming too much sugary food and beverages can lead to tooth decay, cavities, stained teeth, and other dental issues. Cutting down on sugar in your diet is one of the best ways to improve your dental and overall health. Here are a few steps to help you cut down on sugar in your diet.
Utilize a Gradual Process to Limit your Sugar Intake
The fact that sugar is addictive is not at all surprising. Most of us are guilty of having a sweet tooth and uncontrollable sugar cravings. Many people are of the view that addictions are hard to break. But this attitude is disempowering. Breaking an addiction is absolutely doable if done in the right way. A common mistake that people make is that they cut off on sugar completely in order to break the addiction. However, getting over bad habits do not happen overnight, your body takes time to adjust to the change. Hence, it is best to use a step by step process for a couple of weeks, around 3, as it gives your body time to adapt.
Limit the Sugar Intake
First, you must identify your main source of sugar. It might be sodas, sweetened beverages, or baked or processed foods. Once done, implement a step by step process over a couple of weeks. For example, if you are adding three teaspoons of sugar in your tea, reduce it to two during the first week followed by one in the next two weeks. This cuts down on all your sources of sugar and switch to healthier alternatives.
Read Labels while Grocery Shopping
You may think that sugar only comes with sweetened beverages and desserts. But you will quickly realize your mistake, when you start reading the ingredient list. Sugar comes in different disguises and may be present in foods that you think are not sweet like tomato sauce, crackers, and even salad dressings. They can hide under several sneaky names such as high fructose corn syrup, dried cane syrup, sucrose, invert sugar, maple syrup, etc. Hence, when buying a pack of yogurt or a salad dressing make sure to read the ingredient list.
Switch to a Healthy Diet
As mentioned previously, sugar often hides in different forms. Even low-fat and no-fat foods are often marked as healthy but the fat in them is replaced by artificial sweeteners. If you eat a lot of junk or processed food it is time to replace it by a healthy diet. One way is to cook and prepare food yourself. This way you are conscious about the sugar you add and you cut down on sugar intake gradually. Even when snacking, opt for healthier options like plain nuts, dried fruit, or fresh fruits and veggies.
Cutting down on sugar is vital to leading a healthy life. High sugar consumption tends to rot your teeth, leaving you with an ugly smile. While brushing and flossing may reduce the impact, for a healthy smile and oral hygiene you must go for regular dental checkups.