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As sugar-free February comes to a close, it’s now time to ask why we don’t make an effort to cut down our sugar intake all the time? Sugar is a silent killer and studies are now revealing that it is far more dangerous to our health than things like fat. What is more worrying is that many children are now facing more frequent trips to the dentist to have rotten teeth removed because of the increase in sugar in our diets. Many of this sugar is hidden, or it might be dressed up as a healthier option, which means it’s getting more and more difficult for parents and children to make smarter choices.
We know that we all live in the real world, and the idea of cutting sugar out altogether is obviously not going to work for everyone. Try these clever little sugar swaps if you want to cut down your sugar intake while still satisfying your sweet tooth.
Many breakfast cereals contain high levels of sugar, which means you’ll have a sugar rush early in the day but you’ll soon be hungry well before lunchtime. This is a dangerous cycle as it can lead you to reach for more unhealthy choices at lunchtime. Try switching your breakfast choice to porridge and stir in some mashed banana for sweetness. The oats will provide a slow-burning carb to keep you full until lunch time, and the mashed banana will satisfy your sweet truth.
Where possible, you should try to drink water if you are thirsty. This isn’t always the most fun option, but your teeth will thank you if you stick to drinking sugary drinks in moderation. If you drink through a straw, the sugar will have less contact with your teeth. You should also avoid sipping drinks over a long period, as this can do more damage to your teeth. Try drinking water after consuming fruit juice, fizzy drinks and even hot drinks like tea and coffee.
Many juices and smoothies contain alarming amounts of sugar. Even if something appears healthy, you should still consider the sugar content and approach it like any other treat. Try watering down your smoothies with coconut water or plain water so you can still enjoy your fruity drinks without the sugary sting.
Most people have a weakness for sweet things, and we aren’t saying we should avoid chocolate or your favourite sweet treats. To minimise the damage, you should try only eating sweet things after a meal. This is because the process of chewing your food will lead you to produce more acid-fighting saliva. So, if you avoid snacking between meals, your sweet treats will do far less damage.