Serving areas of Okemos, Lansing, and East Lansing, MI
According to a study published in the December 2017 issue of the Journal of Aging Studies, people in Germany, China, and the U.S. want to live longer lives, so long as they’re also happy and healthy. This shouldn’t be a surprise. The COVID-19 pandemic has many people reevaluating the way they live—especially as it relates to their diet. Tenaglia Smiles, a favored dental practice in Okemos, suggests ways to live a healthier, happier life by cutting sugar from your diet.
Living Longer Without Sugar
For many years it was believed that fat was causing America’s obesity issues and health problems. Recent research has shown sugar is just as bad for you. The sugar industry manipulated a key research initiative in 1971 to avoid appearing dangerous for health. The sugar industry also manipulated studies that showed sugar was the leading cause of cavities. Today, sugar can be found in the vast majority of what Americans eat. This makes it difficult to reduce sugar consumption, but not impossible.
Get the Facts on Sugar
There are two types of sugar: naturally occurring and added. Overeating naturally occurring sugar is almost impossible to do. These sugars come attached to nutrients like proteins, fibers, and vitamins. On the other hand, added sugars are easily over consumed. These added sugars normally could be found occurring in food that wouldn’t otherwise have sugar. It could be added in the form of sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, honey, or a variety of other unnatural sugars. Overconsumption of any added sugar increases the likelihood of obesity and the accumulation of oral bacteria that lead to gum disease and tooth decay.
Follow These Tips to Lower Sugar Intake
- Breakfast: It’s called the most important meal of the day for a reason. That said, a variety of “normal” breakfast foods we consume are full of added sugar. If your blood sugar spikes in the morning, it can lead to moodiness and sugar dependency. Not to mention, high sugar foods tend to make people hungry again more quickly, as they do not take long to digest. A high-protein breakfast, instead of pancakes or a bowl of cereal, is the best way to start your day.
- Beverages: What you drink daily is crucial to your sugar intake. Flavored coffee, soft drinks, fruit juice, and even milk all have loads of sugar in them. Most of the time, sugar is added to these products to make them more palatable. Water, plain coffee, and unsweetened tea are the best options for lower sugar intake. Even if you add a small amount of sugar to your coffee or tea, then chances are you’re not even going to touch the average amount of added sugar in pre-made drinks. The average “coffee drink” and “sweet tea” you can buy comes with nearly 20 more teaspoons of sugar per measured cup.
- Read labels: The nutritional labels on food are put there for your benefit. This can be particularly true if you can’t taste the added sugars in foods. Be aware of how much sugar is added to what you’re eating by reading the labels before making your next purchase at the grocery store.
- Go homemade: There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself to a meal out every once in a while. Consistently eating out can be problematic because you don’t know the sugar content in the food you’re buying. Instead, you can better control your sugar intake by making more of your food at home. This is the logical next step after you compare labels.
- Dessert: Everyone wants sweet food every once in a while. The key here is to not overindulge in sweets by controlling your portion sizes and how often you eat dessert. If you want a healthy dessert, fruit can be a great sweet substitute.
- Oral hygiene: At Tenaglia Smiles, we believe oral health is a cornerstone of good overall health. Lowering your sugar intake means better oral health and overall wellness. It also means you reduce your risk of gum disease and other oral health issues—or intensive dental procedures to repair the damage.
General Dentist in Okemos
Making better dietary choices goes a long way toward having a longer, healthier, happier life. Cutting down on your intake of added sugar is one of the best ways to start. It improves your oral and overall health, lowering your risk for several dangerous systemic ailments. Dr. Christine Tenaglia and her team at Tenaglia Smiles want to help you have the best oral health possible. Call our office today at (517) 347-6733 if you’re located in the areas of Okemos, Lansing, and East Lansing in Michigan.