When the Sweet Life’s Not So Sweet

Most of us indulge in a sugary snack occasionally and let our kids do the same. In moderation, sugar isn’t harmful. However, many of the foods that our families consume are high in added sugar – and we don’t even know it! Sure, we’re aware that foods such as cookies, cakes, and candy bars have lots of sugar. And if you’re like a lot of families, you try to limit those foods. But there are lots of foods out there with a sugar content that may surprise you.

A Love/Hate Relationship

Sugar – we love how it tastes; we hate what it can do to our teeth. Bacteria in our mouths feed on sugar, creating acids that are harmful to tooth enamel. Dental decay and gum disease can result from a diet high in sugar, as can whole-body health complications.

Foods High in Sugar

You might be surprised to learn that certain brands of pre-packaged applesauce, muffin mixes, cereal bars, and even yogurt can be laden with sugar. Certain barbeque and spaghetti sauces can pack a powerful punch of sugar, as well. Some frozen breakfast products and instant oatmeal mixes are high in sugar, too.

Lots of Stress, Not Enough Time

Families today lead busy lives. Sometimes, there’s just no time to stop and have a nutritious meal. Processed food, eaten on the run, is sometimes just the best we can do. Even family meals at home can contain more processed foods than fresh. However, it’s important to pause sometimes and take a look at what’s in the food you and your family is consuming. Read some labels and try to determine whether the foods you regularly consume are high in sugar. You might be shocked.

Combat Sugar Overload

When possible, opt for fresh fruits and veggies in place of processed foods. Cut out some high-sugar foods and replace them with lower-sugar alternatives. And don’t be fooled by the label “fat-free” – no fat does not mean no sugar.

Also, take the time to schedule regular dental checkups and cleanings for you and your kids. At Carolina Kids Dentistry, Mint Hill pediatric dentist Dr. Bevin Malley partners with parents to give children happy, healthy smiles. We’re always available to answer questions and provide suggestions about foods that are good for oral health and ones to avoid. Call us today.