Dentists, and the general public, have known for a long time that sugar is a major cause of dental problems. Unfortunately, once you’ve developed a sugar habit, it can be very hard to break free. Our Aspen Dentists encourage people to cut back on their sugar intake and we let them know that there are ways to do that effectively. And, of course, cutting back on those empty calories can be good for your waistline and your overall health as well!
Strategies for Saying Goodbye to Sugar
In the U.S., we like our food and beverages sweet. Sugar, in its many forms, is incorporated into much of what we eat and drink. Consequently, it can be hard to remove all of it from your diet. But, here are some tips for cutting back to healthier levels:
- Be able to identify it. While we may think of sugar only as the white crystals we stir into our coffee or tea, there are many substances with essentially the same chemical composition and same negative impact on oral health. They include fructose, corn syrup, maltose, and hydrolyzed starch. Be sure that when you see these names on a food label, you know what you’re getting into.
- Eat a healthy breakfast. Yes, it’s advice you’ve been hearing since you were a kid, but it still holds true. One of the reasons we reach for sugary treats throughout the day is that we didn’t get enough healthy energy to start our day. Have a hearty, nutritious meal in the morning and you’ll find you feel more energized all day long.
- Don’t be fooled by “fat free.” Many people assume that a fat free product is much better for them. If you need to cut back on fat, it can be. However, as our Aspen Dentists tell their patients, often products with reduced fat compensate for the loss of flavor by adding more sugar. Be sure to check the label.
- Push the protein snacks. While sugar will produce a rapid burst of energy, it fades just as quickly. Rather than reaching for a candy bar when you feel yourself starting to slump, grab a handful of mixed nuts instead. It may take a little longer for you to experience the boost, but the energy from protein will stay with you a lot longer.
- Set limits. Part of steering clear of sweets is simply committing to doing so. If you just love dessert and can’t imagine cutting it out of your diet, cut back on portion sizes and/or the number of days a week where you will indulge in that treat.
The Benefits are Real
Ask anyone who has cut back on their sugar intake and they’ll tell you: it feels great. Not only do they have fewer oral health issues, they have energy all day and no more of the spikes and crashes they used to struggle with. To make an appointment with Aspen Dentists, Dr. Steinbach or Dr. Van Gorden, please call 970-279-5647 or connect with us online.
We’ve proudly provided comprehensive dental care to Basalt, Aspen, Carbondale, Glenwood Springs, and surrounding Colorado areas for 25 years.