Sugar is one of those controversial topics that we as Dentists are often asked to weigh in on. On one hand, natural sugars are important for your body, and we wouldn’t be able to function without them. On the other hand artificial and added sugars can be extremely harmful, and lead to health conditions like obesity and diabetes, not to mention all the tooth problems. But sugar is also highly addictive, so it’s difficult to give up artificial sugar altogether. If you have a sweet tooth, try one of these alternatives next time you feel the cravings hit.
Reach For The Fruit
As Marge Simpson once said, fruit is nature’s candy. And while the kids weren’t impressed by this, she isn’t all wrong. Fruit is the most common source of naturally occurring sugar, and can be used to satiate those cravings instead of reaching for the chocolate bars. Eating fruit instead of sugary snacks will also give you lots of fibre and nutrients that your body needs. In particular, fruits like strawberries, grapes, apples, watermelons and kiwi’s are all packed with natural sugar, which gives them their sweet taste. If you’re on the go, keep little packets of nuts, seeds and dried fruits handy. They will still give you the slight curve up in blood sugar, but they are much better for you!
Choose Quality Over Quantity
Sometimes the craving just get too much, and you need to indulge a little. That’s no bad thing! But when you do indulge, try to remember to go for quality over quantity. So instead of picking up a king sized chocolate bar, choose a dark chocolate truffle that will give you all the sugar you need in a small quantity. Dark chocolate is especially good for this because it doesn’t have all the Once you have it, go slow and savour every single bite. It’s important when trying to eat healthy that you don’t swear off your favourites, as that means you will only come back for greater portions when the cravings get too bad. Instead, indulge yourself a little every once in a while, and you will find it easier to beat back the cravings the rest of the time.
Switch To Sweetener
One place you can’t replace a teaspoon of sugar is in your tea or coffee. This time, some fruit just wont do. Instead of loading your hot drinks with granulated sugar, try adding half a teaspoon of sweetener, or even better some honey. Sweetener is a healthier alternative to sugar because it has 0 calories and won’t cause a jump in blood sugar. It is up to 40 times sweeter than ordinary sugar, so it will satiate your sweet tooth without sacrificing your health. If you’re more of a tea drinker, a drizzle of honey is the perfect way to cut down on sugar for 2 reasons. The first is that while honey is more calorie wise than sugar (1 tsp of sugar is around 16 calories, while honey is 22) many people find they use much less honey because it tastes so much sweeter. Honey is also a naturally occurring sugar that takes longer to be absorbed into your bloodstream, so it is better for you than the processed alternative.
Grab Some Gum
Specifically, the sugar free kind. Often when you are craving sugar, you are actually a little hungry and your body is trying to tell you its preference. Instead of reaching for the chocolate bars, chew some sugar free gum instead. Sugar free gum is designed to taste the same as regular gum – which is minty and sweet. This burst of sweet taste will satisfy your immediate craving for sugar, while chewing the gum will help suppress your appetite until it’s time to eat. This is a great alternative if you’re busy or on the go, and it helps keep your teeth healthy too!
Remember, it is absolutely impossible for you to completely cut sugar from your diet. Sugar is an essential chemical for your boy, and without it you wouldn’t survive. But it’s the processed, added sugars you should be careful of, and cutting down on them will actually lead to you having more energy, a reduced waistline and better teeth. For more advice on your sugar intake and how to cut down, get in touch today to book your consultation.