Updated: Dec 18, 2018
We are constantly encouraged to live a healthy life and have a healthy balanced diet. The news is always telling us to be aware of the amount of sugar and salt in our diet. The dental industry is no different, your dentist or hygienist will perhaps have given you advice as to the damaging effects too much sugar can have on your teeth and gums.
Trying to find foods that are low in sugar can actually be more difficult than you think! Here are some foods often thought to be healthy that actually are a log higher in sugar content than you think:
1:Low fat food. This craze became popular in the 1990s and has stayed with us with an increasing range of ‘low-fat’ products in the supermarkets. The problem is low-fat can mean low-taste. Manufacturers have compensated for this by adding extra sugar to food to get the taste back! In fact, food with full fat content is actually better for your overall health.
2: Breakfast cereal. Often purported to be the most important meal of the day! However, many breakfast foods are actually high in sugar, even so called ‘healthy’ cereals. Some of the most popular cereals with the highest sugar content are, in order (per 30g serving): (Supermarket own brands are often higher in sugar than branded versions)
Aldi’s Harvest Morn Choco Rice (like cocopops) 12 grammes
Frosties 11 grammes
Crunch Nut Cornflakes 11 grammes
Cocopops 10.5 grammes
Sugar Puffs 8.7 grammes
Alpen original muesli 6.9 grammes
Nestle Cheerios 6.2 grammes
Kelloggs branflakes 6 grammes
3: Tomato Ketchup. In one tablespoon of ketchup, there is one full teaspoon of sugar! Try using mustard as an alternative.
4: Salad dressings. Many shop bought dressins are high in sugar content due to added sweetener or fructose. Try making your own instead using olive oil and vinegar and fresh herbs.
5: Barbecue marinades. With the summer season just round the corner, it is worth taking note! Not only are most shop bought marinades high in sugar or fructose, but quite often it is the number one ingredient!
6: Granola bars. Excellent easy on the go snack bars they may be, but most have added lots sugar to ‘improve’ flavour. Try substituting these for fresh fruit.
7: Yogurt. Often considered a healthy food, however sugar can often be hidden! Some yogurts actually have more sugar in a single portion than in an equivalent portion of ice cream! If you are a yogurt fan, try natural yogurt over fresh fruit instead.
8: Coffee from coffee shops! An increasingly popular drink of choice, with Starbucks, Costa Coffee, Neros and many others popping up all over the place. However, a Latte will often more sugar than a doughnut! If you have to have your morning coffee, don’t ask for sugar or milk!
9: Ready made sandwiches. Many of the ingredients that are put into these sandwiches are loaded with sugar as well as the actual bread itself in the baking process! If you are having lunch on the go, try picking a salad instead (without the ready made dressing of course!)
10: Skimmed Milk. There is currently a debate about the pros and cons of Skimmed milke versus full fat milk. Yes the fat is removed, but sugar is added!
As sugar is such a hot topic, you should be able to get plenty of additional dietary advice including leaflets for both yourself and your children from your dentist or hygienist.
For further information or advice contact College Street Dental Centre in Petersfield, Hampshire on 01730 263180