Your overall nutrition has a huge impact on the overall health of your teeth. The majority of people consume far more sugar than is good for them. It can be incredibly beneficial to take the steps to reduce your sugar consumption, both for your teeth and for your overall health. Here at Mills River Family Dental, we are dedicated to providing the services that you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle through good oral health. Here are a few tips to help you reduce your sugar consumption.
Plan your Meals
The easiest way to stick to something is by creating a plan for it. When you thoroughly plan for your meals, it is far more likely that you will stick to it. If you don’t have a meal plan, it is incredibly likely that you will reach for a sugary snack when you get hungry. A meal plan can go a long way toward reducing the chances of eating unhealthy foods.
Issues with Sugar Consumption
Excessive sugar consumption is bad for your teeth, as well as your overall health. When you consume too much sugar, it is likely that your diet will lead to tooth decay. Sugar will result in an attack on your teeth, because they provide bacteria with the food that they need to grow and escalate. In addition to the damage to your teeth, sugar consumption can cause weight gain. It can also lead to diabetes, heart disease, and many additional problems.
Reduce Sugar Present in the House
Not keeping sugar in the house at all will go a long way toward reducing your sugar intake. This will help to ensure that you don’t cave when you have a sugar craving. You should refrain from shopping when you are hungry. Doing so tends to increase the likelihood of obtaining foods that are less than healthy for you. Keeping healthy foods in the house can reduce your sugar consumption and improve your overall health.
Many processed foods contain sugar. In fact, you are very likely consuming far more sugar than you think! It is important to ensure that you read the labels on your food to accurately track the amount of sugar that you are consuming. Familiarize yourself with the many various names of sugar to ensure that you can find it when it is present on the label. You should also take care when it comes to fat-free or low-fat foods. These foods tend to contain high amounts of sugar in lieu of the fat amounts. Whole-fat foods tend to be far better for your teeth.
Take it in Steps
Sugar is a rather addictive substance. It can be incredibly difficult to quit sugar completely at once. This can cause you to lapse and eat far too much sugar in one sitting. Consider taking it one step at a time to make the process easier. For example, you can have half the amount of dessert that you previously did. Do this for a short period of time, then cut the amount in half again. This can help you to reduce your sugar intake without feeling like you are missing out or depriving yourself of something that you enjoy.
Replace or Reduce while Baking
Baking allows for many modifications to improve the healthy levels of the finished product. This can go a long way toward providing a yummy treat, without increasing your sugar consumption. In many cases, you can simply reduce the total amount of sugar in the recipe. This can often be reduced by as much as 1/3 to 1/2 without impacting the taste. You can also replace sugar with unsweetened applesauce. This should be done at an equal rate as the amount of sugar that the recipe calls for. So if the recipe calls for 2 cups of sugar, you will want to use 2 cups of unsweetened applesauce. Finally, for recipes that call for chocolate, you may want to use dark chocolate. Dark chocolate tends to have a lower sugar content than alternative types of chocolate.
Much of the sugar you consume is in your beverages. Drinking soda, juice, and even milk increases the total amount of sugar that you consume. When you replace these beverages with water, you can reduce your sugar consumption by an incredible amount. In addition to reduced amounts of sugar, drinking water regularly can help to flush harmful particles from your teeth.
Quitting partway through your reduction of sugar can make it more difficult to successfully complete it later on. It is incredibly useful to stick with it, even when it gets hard. Eventually, your taste buds will adjust to the new flavors that they are commonly experiencing. You’ll find that sugar cravings will subside and it will be far easier to turn down that candy bar. In fact, you may have a piece of cake one day and realize that it tastes much too sweet to be appealing.
Replace with Natural Alternatives
Sugar cravings are easier to deal with when you can still experience something sweet. Healthier sweet alternatives include honey, fruit, cinnamon, and many additional options. Honey, fruit, and cinnamon are great options for flavoring oatmeal and obtaining a healthy breakfast to get a great start on your day.
Get Enough Sleep
It is important to ensure that you get enough sleep when you are trying to reduce your sugar intake. When you are sleep-deprived, you are more likely to want sugar to provide you with an energy spike. Good nutrition can also help to provide you with far more energy.
Contact our Experts
At Mills River Family Dental, our expert team is dedicated to providing the services that you need to ensure that your teeth remain healthy, beautiful, and strong. Reducing your sugar intake can go a long way toward both improving your oral health and your overall health. Regular dental cleanings are another important component of keeping your smile in good condition. To learn more about the benefits of reducing your sugar consumption, contact our experts at Mills River Family Dental today!