10th January 2018

Tips for Cutting Out Sugar in 2018

If you want to make a healthy change this year, then cutting out sugar could be the challenge for you. Most of us consume far too much sugar every day, and often we aren’t even aware we’re doing it. Healthy choices that are labelled as fat-free often include a shockingly high sugar content. So, while you might think you’re making the healthier choice, this often isn’t the case.

Sugar is a huge problem for dentists and can lead to all sorts of dental problems such as cavities and loss of enamel. If you’re planning to make a healthy change this year, why not try cutting out sugar?

Why should we be cutting out sugar?

Eating too much sugar not only leads to weight gain, it can also lead to tooth loss. Sugar reacts with the bacteria found in plaque and creates an acid that attacks the tooth enamel. Once the enamel is eroded, this exposes the tooth and can lead to tooth decay.

If left untreated, this can lead to fillings, root canals or extraction. It’s very simple to cut down on sugar and help protect your oral health.

Can I still have some sugar?

It is possible to consume sugar without damaging your teeth, but you have to consume it in a certain way. For example, snacking on sugary sweets throughout the day is worse than having one sweet treat after a meal. And if you decide to have a sugary drink, drinking it through a straw is much better for your teeth.

Often, when people start cutting out sugar, they feel a lot better and find an incentive to cut down further. You can still enjoy sugar, but it’s important that you do so in moderation. Don’t snack on sugary snacks throughout the day, or try chewing a piece of gum after you’ve had a sweet treat. The chewing action will encourage your mouth to produce acid-attacking saliva.

How to cut out sugar

Here are some tips for cutting out sugar:

  • Start reading the ingredients in your food, you may be surprised to learn how much sugar is added to everyday items like cereal and sauces.
  • Be wary of the “no added sugar” label. This just means that no sugar has been added, not that it doesn’t contain sugar.
  • Avoid highly processed foods as these will often contain sugar.
  • Snack on cheese, unsalted nuts or raw vegetables.
  • Try cutting the amount of sugar you have in your tea and coffee in half. You’ll soon be able to wean yourself off entirely.

Small changes for cutting out sugar

  • Ditch the sugary breakfast cereal for a plain cereal and sweeten it with fruit.
  • Try a herbal tea instead of your normal tea or coffee.
  • Bargain with yourself. You can still enjoy sugar from time-to-time, but why not save it for a delicious dessert once or twice a week rather than every day?
  • Watch the drinks. If you find yourself reaching for a fizzy drink or fruit juice, grab a water instead.
  • Make your own sauces. Store bought spaghetti sauces are loaded with sugar, but it’s really simple and cheap to make your own sauces from scratch.
  • Always choose fresh fruit over dried fruit as these have a higher sugar content for the same weight.
  • Try dark chocolate. It has much less sugar than it’s milkier counterpart and tastes delicious. The stronger flavours means that you are also much less likely to demolish an entire bar.
  • Beware of the sugar content of your favourite alcoholic beverages. Skip the sugary sweet mixers and choose a spirit with a soda water instead.
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