Becoming Sugar Savvy Part 3: Curb the cravings and sugar free sweet dreamsEthical Dental
Smart Sugar Switch 4: Curb the cravings
Many people will have experienced the infamous 3pm lull (or 4pm or 5pm depending on your body clock). During these times, it is ever so tempting to go for the quickest sugar hit available. For many this will be the risky period for sugar intake as energy levels drop and we try to propel ourselves through the end of day tasks. Things like muesli bars or a few biscuits might be ever so tempting and even some of the ones that look healthy might be harbouring some sneaky sugars.
For example: Each TimTam has about 2 teaspoons of sugar in it. While no one ever confused a TimTam as a healthy choice, you could be forgiven for making some mistakes with muesli bars. For example, Be Natural Fruit and Nut Yoghurt coated bars have over 5 teaspoons of sugar per bar and their Fruit and Nut trail bars still have 2.5 teaspoons of sugar.
Make the switch! By reading the label, you might be able to find a healthy alternative if you are a big fan of the ‘grab and go’ snack. For example, Carman’s original bars contain 1 teaspoon of sugar. Making your own snack bars can be another alternative, such as this yummy Women’s Weekly recipe with no added sugar. Other low sugar items to fill the afternoon void such as popcorn, nuts, and baked edamame or chickpeas (with your choice of seasoning), can be another great hunger deterrent.
Dental bonus tip:
Before having your afternoon snack, have some water. Sometimes when we are thirsty, our body confuses this for being hungry. Wait 10 minutes after your water… are you still hungry? Keep the water on hand for after your snack if you have one, as it’s great to rinse your mouth out after these sorts of foods so they don’t stick in your teeth. Chewing gum (sugar free) can be a great thing to have on hand too, because it stimulates the saliva, which can help to flush away food, and buffer acids. It may also act as an appetite suppressant to stop more snacking!
Smart Sugar Switch 5: Sweet dreams without the sugar
For many people, a dinner is not quite complete without dessert. If you have a sweet tooth and love something sweet after a meal, be careful of some of the healthy looking alternatives that may be hiding sugar.
For example: Fresh strawberry sorbet from Yoghurt Land has 2 teaspoon of sugar per average serve. This is undoubtedly better than some of our other favourites (Golden Gaytime has 4 teaspoons, Weis bar 5!).
Make the switch! There are now some great sugar free and low sugar dessert recipes out there such as these. But what can you make with what you already have at home? One of our best tips for a sweet treat after dinner than wont tip you over the edge of your maximum daily sugar is a hot chocolate. By combining Cocoa with your favourite milk and vanilla extract, you may be able to provide the perfect sweet treat to top off your dinner. What a restful night’s sleep you will have after a nice warm hot-choc and a day that met the World Health Organisations recommendation to have a maximum of 6 teaspoons of sugar. Well done, you did it!
Dental bonus tip: We all know brushing our teeth twice a day is necessary and what we aim for, but actually the night-time brush is the most important. This is because during the night, our saliva drops to its lowest flow rate in the whole day. With this lower saliva flow, any remaining food particles are less likely to be flushed away. This can be an environment where dental bugs can thrive if sugary or carbohydrate rich foods are still sitting around our teeth in the nooks and crannies. To avoid falling asleep without brushing your teeth or doing a bad job due to being tired, why not brush your teeth straight after dinner? You won’t need a sugary after dinner mint if you brush with some minty toothpaste instead!