The Australian Dental Association has published a shocking statistic revealing that about three million adult Australians are living with only about one-third of their teeth left in their mouths. The reason behind the distressing news is the amount of sugar in foods, as the patients continue to eat more than double the recommended intake of six teaspoons a day. Health professionals urge Australians to visit their dentist more regularly to keep an eye on possible tooth decay to avoid costly and possibly painful repairs as well as getting educated on a more balanced diet.
While a lot of readymade foods such as pasta sauces, salad dressings and sports drinks seem healthy, they can hide more sugar than the iconic Aussie biscuit. To many nutritious looking foods sugar is added for better taste. To help you not get confused in the world of sugar-laden healthy snacks, we have put together 10 foods you should avoid if you don’t want to make an appointment with your dentist soon.
If you like to have a snack in the office and your choice is flavoured yoghurt, you should know that some brands sell single serves that contain almost 7 teaspoons of sugar in one tub. To avoid calories and tooth decay, stick to natural or Greek yoghurt instead.
Even though working out is a great way to prevent health issues later in life, it’s the protein bars after a session that might work against you and your teeth. Such bars are not only nutrition-packed but might contain lots of sugar. Pay close attention to the nutrition information next time you purchase a pack or ask your trainer at the gym.
Classic Pasta Sauce
Don’t let the sauces you buy in a supermarket fool you. Even if you are keen on a balanced diet and want to add some healthy vegetables to your daily food intake, cooking pasta sauce yourself is not only easy but much healthier as the store-bought sauces sometimes contain a lot of sugar as well as hidden sodium which is related to high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases.
In case you like your greens with a ready-made supermarket dressing, be aware that you might turn your healthy meal into junk food. Except for olive oil based dressings, store-bought salad dressing such as Thousand Island or French Dressing often contain lots of sugar even if you just add a splash over your green leaves. Some even contain more sugar than a Tim Tam hence load your fridge and start making the dressing yourself.
Fruit juice can contain 16.6g sugar per 200ml serving which makes some of the drinks sweeter than a soft drink per 100ml. For the daily vitamin and fibre intake, dentists recommend eating at least two serves of crisp fruit or raw veggies to help clean plaque from teeth and keep gums healthy.
If you are not an athlete who needs a quick energy boost like sports drinks promise, stay away from such sugar flavoured water. Some brands tested contained the equivalent of nine teaspoons of sugar in a 600ml serving, which is even higher than the recommended daily intake.
Compared to fresh fruit, dried fruit has a dangerous sugar content as the water is removed to make it dry and portable. Apricot, for instance, contains 54.2% of sugar when dried compared to a fresh one, which has 9.5%. If you want to stick to the recommended two serves a day, health professionals recommend eating fresh or frozen fruit.
Canned soup is a quick and easy meal and since a serving contains lots of veggies, maybe you think you are treating yourself to a healthy meal. While indeed, a lot of soups are healthy, canned ones often tend to be high in sugar and sodium. When grocery shopping next time, get some fresh and healthy veggies to take home for a homemade soup that gives you all the health benefits you’re looking for.
Like protein bars, a lot of breakfast bars contain high amounts of sugar, which does not make them the most important meal of the day. If you are always in a rush and need some breakfast on the go, go to your next whole food store and see what kind of bars they sell as sweetening with honey or coconut sugar is definitely better for you.
Some breakfast cereals can hold the scary sugar content of three biscuits in one serve. Unless you cook up some porridge yourself or mix your own muesli when brekkie shopping next time keep in mind that a cereal with fewer than 15g of sugar per 100g is usually a healthier choice.