10 ways to kick your sugar habit
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- Choose whole foods and read the label
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 – Don’t start the day with sugar
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 – Spice up your life
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 busy
Filling your day with distractions, even a simple stroll can help you ignore the nagging need for a sugar hit.
7 – Get physical
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 – Sleep and distress
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 – What you don’t have, can’t harm you
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 plenty of water
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.
By looking after your teeth with daily cleaning and following a responsible and healthy diet you are far more likely to be able to keep your teeth fresh and healthy life which is, after all what everybody wants.
If you find you need further advice on your dental health and live in the local Watford, Rickmansworth, Chorleywood or Gerrads Cross area then please do give us a call or request an appointment online.
*Images sourced from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/
Content adapted from Babi Chana BSC Nut Med.
A graduate of the Newcastle-upon-Tyne Dental school, Dr Padayachy has been a dentist at the award winning Senova Dental Studios in Watford since 1998 focusing on comprehensive restorative and cosmetic dentistry.
Jay has previously been the president of The London Dental Fellowship.
He has been a member of the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry since its inception and serves on the Credentialing committee. Jay has lectured widely on all aspects of cosmetic dentistry, dental photography and comprehensive care.