It may be a religious festival but everyone can use this occasion to take a look at their diet
Not only does this apply to obesity and related issues such as diabetes, but it is also responsible for a lot of tooth and gum health problems too. In the West, we eat far too much sugar in our diet, and not only in the obvious places such as cakes and sweets but also as added ingredients to foods and drinks.
Even if we make conscious efforts not, for example, to put sugar in our tea, the impact will be limited. Far too much sugar is consumed in other ways and although any reduction is good, we need, perhaps, to be more radical in our thinking if we are to look after ourselves better.
We can probably skip talking about sweets, chocolates, cakes etc. Most of our Ipswich patients will be fully aware of how high in sugar they are. It is often in the things that we wouldn’t expect, or if we do, probably don’t really think about, where we consume a very large proportion of our total sugar intake. So where are some of these areas?
Coffee – Whilst we can control the amount of sugar we put in coffee at home, many of us are addicted, it seems, to store bought coffee. Whilst cappuccino was once thought to be ‘exotic’, it is now one of the more mainstream coffee drinks with new ones coming along all of the time. These newer ones often contain added ingredients such as flavoured syrups, creams and marshmallows. All of these add to the total amount of sugar in our drinks. Although each drink will vary in the amount they contain, it is worth considering that one of the most sugar heavy drinks at a popular coffee shop contains as much as 23 teaspoons of sugar!
‘Sports’ and fizzy drinks – We have discussed these before but it is always worth a reminder, especially as these seem to be popular with children who sometimes use them for an energy boost. Unfortunately, these are terrible for our teeth. Not only can they contribute to tooth decay but also enamel erosion due to their high acidity. Very few of us require the energy that they allegedly provide and it is largely marketing that makes us believe that we do. Water is often the ‘healthiest’ drink for you with others drunk more sparingly as a ‘treat’.