We all dread the C word: cavity. Every dentist visit, we aim to hear that magic phrase: you have no cavities! So, how can we make sure that we are working towards a cavity (and thus stress) free dental visit?
The biggest one is avoiding sugar. This seems obvious, but the problem is that sugar is hidden in so many foods. Here is a list of a few of the places sugar can be found in deceiving quantities:
A seemingly healthy snack that can actually be very unhealthy! The problem is that most canned fruit tends to be packed in high- fructose corn syrup. And what is in high-fructose corn syrup? Sugar! Being packed in all that sugar cancels out the benefit of eating fruit! Avoid canned fruit packed in sugar (look instead for natural juice or water) or grab a real piece of fruit.
Certain salad dressings, ketchup, and BBQ sauces are all high in sugar. Those sweet salad dressings like raspberry vinaigrette that taste so good? Yup, chockful of sugar. BBQ sauce is another one that’s flavor comes from sugar. Ketchup is the least of all the evils, but still has a decent amount of sugar per serving. You’re better off eating regular mustard on your hamburger or hot dog.
Granola Cereals or Bars
According to WebMD, the label items to watch out for in granola bars are corn syrup, brown sugar, honey, brown sugar syrup, dextrose, and fructose. Marketed as healthy snacks, these store-bought items can have a ton of sugar them!
Even these “healthier” alternatives (under 100 calories) are still packed with hidden sugars. Who doesn’t love that key lime pie yogurt in the afternoon? Or strawberry? Be careful, because these seemingly healthy treats often pack of a punch (of sugar). Buy lower sugar versions or plain and then add your own fruit toppings.
We assume that fruit juice would be healthy. It’s just pressed fruit, right? Wrong! In fact, most fruit “juices” are made from concentrate, which means less real fruit and more added sugar. You don’t have to avoid fruit juice all the time, just be cognizant of which ones are from concentrate and which ones are ‘100% juice unsweetened.’
Pasta sauces seem savory so who’d suspect that they are hiding a massive amount of sugar? WebMD advises that pasta sauce can have as much sugar as a chocolate chip cookie! Check the label for lower sugar choices, or make your own marinara.
Everyone has heard that a glass of wine a day is good for you, right? Well, that advice isn’t talking about white wine. White wines are typically sweeter and, yup, that sweetness comes from added sugar! Dryer white wines (Chardonnay) have less sugar, while sweeter white wines (Riesling) can have up to 6 grams of sugar per glass. If you are having a glass of wine with dinner, either stick to red or have a dryer white.
Avoiding these secret sugar sources has multiple benefits, including helping your overall health, reducing your blood pressure, and lowering your risk of cavities. But avoiding them alone won’t make for a great dentist visit; make sure to keep flossing and brushing as well!