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How Much Sugar is Too Much?

Sugar is widely considered to be the root of many evils, especially where your teeth are concerned. Consuming sugar can cause tooth decay and erosion of the enamel that protects your teeth and the more frequently you consume sugar, the higher your risk of decay becomes. With links proven to many health issues, such as diabetes, heart disease and lowered immunity, it is more important than ever to be aware of the impact your diet can have on your health and your teeth, and to keep an eye on the amount of sugar you consume.

World Health Organisation Halve Daily Allowance of Sugar

Guidelines previously set by the World Health Organisation suggested that people should consume no more than 12 teaspoons of sugar a day. Now, these recommendations have been halved, suggesting that any more that 6 teaspoons of sugar on a daily basis can have harmful effects. These guidelines do not include natural sugars, found in fresh fruit and in milk, as the WHO states that there is no evidence of these being harmful.

How Much Sugar is Hidden in Your Diet?

Many processed foods contain sugar, often in products that are labeled as ‘low fat’ or ‘diet’ options, and many of your favourite sweet treats will contain far more sugar than you would expect. For example:

  • Fizzy drinks are among the worst offenders. A can of Pepsi or Coca Cola contains 9 teaspoons of sugar, while popular brands of ginger beer contain more, up to 13 teaspoons!
  • Diet drinks are not the answer! Low calorie and diet options are often packed full of aspartame and other artificial sweeteners which can be more dangerous than sugar, with studies showing higher rates of obesity associated with these choices. Aspartame, in particular, has proved controversial recently, with studies showing chemical changes in the brain after consumption as well as links to serious diseases.
  • Sugar is often hidden in foods you would not expect to be sweet. There is a teaspoon of sugar in every tablespoon of tomato ketchup!
  • Glucose, high fructose corn syrup, sucrose and dextrose are all types of sugar that can be added to food. Not all sugars are included in labeling laws so check ingredients carefully as ‘sugar free’ or ‘no added sugar’ foods could still contain these baddies!
  • One Mars Bar contains 8.5 teaspoons of sugar – more than the new daily recommendation for adult consumption.
  • Yoghurts and yoghurt drinks contain very high levels of sugar – there are 12 teaspoons of sugar in a 400g Yop Yoghurt drink!

Ultimately, any amount of sugar will have an impact on your general health and on your teeth. By making healthier choices and keeping an eye on your sugar intake, you'll be helping to keep your teeth strong so that they’ll last you a lifetime!

Your Dental Practice in Cork Can Help

It's important to visit the dentist regularly as part of your oral health regime. A good dentist will also be able to give you advice on diet and nutrition for your teeth. If you're looking for a Dentist in Ballincollig, call Guiney Dental today on 021-481 0535.


 

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