Go Halves On Sugar

If you want to keep your teeth until the day you die, you should cut the amount of free sugars you can consume by half. Free sugars are those that are added to foods by manufacturers, cooks, or in the kitchen to sweeten meals, plus those naturally present in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit concentrates.

The WHO recommends that you limit your intake of free sugars to 5% of your calorie intake, which works out at around six teaspoons a day. Researchers have found that cutting previous recommendations in half would dramatically cut the chance of ever needing a filling. They also found that while fluoride (added to water supplies or dental products such as toothpaste) has a positive effect on dental health, you shouldn’t rely on it. Removing sugar, the root cause of tooth decay, would have a much bigger effect. This advice is especially important for children.

While it may sound like bad news for those with a sweet tooth, nutritionists say, it doesn’t have to mean the end of sweet treats. While we’re hearing more and more negative things about sugar and the impact it can have on our teeth and waistline, the opposite is true of a natural sugar alternative like stevia or maple syrup. It looks and tastes just like sugar, but studies show that it actively promotes healthy teeth and reduces plaque. So, you can still indulge your sweet tooth while cooking in your kitchen and stay healthy.

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