Why go sugar-free?

Sugar - it’s a comforting substance that we treat ourselves to in times of celebration, when we’re feeling in need of a ‘pick-me-up’, or just out of habit. But it doesn’t just stop there – what about the sugars we unwittingly consume on a daily basis that manufacturers sneak into our food and drinks?

Sugar-Free September is an ideal time to really focus on this one ingredient and learn a lot about how it’s added to foods and drinks and what it does to our bodies and teeth. Giving up added sugar for 30 days (and beyond!) can have many benefits to your oral health and overall health:

Reduce the chance of tooth decay

“Every time we have something sugary to eat or drink, bacteria in our mouths feed on this sugar and produce harmful acids, which can cause tooth decay,” advises Henry Clover, Chief Dental Officer at Denplan. “It then takes our saliva around an hour to neutralise these acids and return our mouths to normal. This means the more times a day you expose your teeth to sugar, the more you increase your chances of tooth decay. This is why sugar is always best kept as an occasional treat rather than having a constant presence in your daily diet."

Why go sugar free?

Giving up processed sugar can have many benefits on your oral health and overall health

As well as reducing your risk of tooth decay, you may also experience weight loss, improved skin and increased energy levels!

You may lose weight

Sugar is calorific and it’s easy to pile the pounds on when you’re unknowingly eating items that have had sugar added to them. It can also lead to unwanted fat storage according to Claire White, author of Sugar Snub and nutritional advisor: “When our stores of glucose in our muscles and liver are full, any extra sugar, particularly fructose, is converted to fat. We can deal with fructose in fruits for example (don’t stop eating fruit!), but food manufacturers have created Fructose Glucose Syrup and filled fizzy drinks, junk food, and many supermarket foods with it.”

More energy

It’s a common misconception that sugar is a good option for keeping you energised throughout the day. Although sugar does provide a boost of energy, its effects are short-lived and can actually make you feel worse. “It takes just 30 minutes to go from a chocolate bar sugar-high to a sugar crash,” advises Claire. Lean protein and good quality carbohydrates such as wholewheat pasta and brown rice are good options for keeping you fueled. 

Help your skin

Did you know that sugar has been linked to premature aging? Over-consumption of sugar can weaken collagen and elastin, accelerating the rate at which wrinkles appear. Read Denplan’s article in the Daily Mail for more information. Some people also report they have clearer, less spot-prone skin when they reduce their sugar consumption. 

Type 2 diabetes and heart disease

Researchers are increasingly finding links between high sugar diets and conditions such as heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. We know that high sugar diets increase your chances of weight gain, and being overweight is thought to be a major cause of both Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.  

Reduce your sugar cravings

“Sugar and junk foods can cause massive releases of dopamine in the reward part of the brain,” says Claire. “This, for many people, can become strongly addictive.” 

For more sugar-quitting tips from Claire White, author of Sugar Snub and nutritional advisor, visit www.sugarsnub.co.uk

  

Back to the sugar homepage