Everyone knows that sugar can have a negative effect on your health. It not only effects your teeth but can also effect other parts of your body in a negative way.
What is Sugar?
Sugar is a sweet, crystallised substance which is obtained from various plants, most commonly sugar cane or sugar beets. It consists essentially of sucrose and is used to sweeten food and drinks. It is found in granulated form and used to sweeten tea and coffee, but is also added in various forms to different foods to sweeten them, and many people would be quite surprised on where we might actually find sugars in our food.
One of the very highest levels of added sugars can be found in fizzy drinks, which should be limited in your diet. Check the contents on the ingredients label as some fizzy drinks can contain, per can, up to twice as much sugar as a banana!! Obviously sweets are very bad for your teeth due to the high sugar content, particularly boiled sweets, as they are held in the mouth for a longer period of time. Many people may be surprised to learn that dried fruits have a very high sugar content, much like fruit juices which contain lots of sugar as well as citric acid.
Another product that you may be surprised contains a high level of sugar is Ketchup which can contain up to 50% sugar!!! Also similarly, other sauces and salad dressings can contain lots of sugar so again make sure you are checking the label of the food you are eating and be aware of hidden sugars.
How can sugar effect my body?
We all know that sugar is bad for your teeth, but how does it affect the rest of your body? Firstly, sugar is bad for your heart. It can increase the risk of future heart disease and studies have shown that it can affect the way that the heart pumps blood around your body which over a long period of time can eventually lead to heart failure. Sugar also contributes to weight gain and can lead to gaining tummy fat in particular. Studies have shown there are more and more people gaining weight around their middles, which is most probably due to excess fructose (sugars occurring in fruit and honey) intake. Other studies have shown that sugar can actually have a similar toxic effect on your liver to alcohol. These studies have shown evidence that too much glucose (sugar occurring in carbohydrates) or too much fructose can have a toxic effect on the liver as the metabolism of ethanol — the alcohol contained in alcoholic beverages had similarities to the metabolic pathways that fructose took. Also looks can be deceiving, if you are slim in stature this does not mean that inside you are healthy, you still need to take into account your sugar intake and make sure you eat healthily.
How does sugar effect my teeth?
Sugar is well known to be bad for your teeth, as it can cause caries and tooth decay. As mentioned above, there are some foods which contain a high level of sugars and these are ones to watch out for. Everything is ok in moderation but too much sugar can lead to problems. As well as monitoring your diet and keeping track of the sugar content in your food, obviously oral care plays a massive part in maintaining the health of your teeth. Brushing twice daily and taking extra care if you have had sweets or fizzy drinks is key also, and using a fluoride toothpaste helps with protecting your teeth too. If you have any questions or would like to book in for an exam then please do not hesitate to contact the practice on 01474 537 191.