A Little Sugar Can’t Be All That Bad, Right?
So, you’ve just been reminded that sugar is not good for your teeth.
Maybe you’re in your 40′s or older experiencing recurrent decay and possibly some degree of ongoing gum disease. Maybe you’re in your teens or 20′s with a couple of new cavities. Regardless of your age, it’s fair to say, many of us understand the notorious effects of sugar in the mouth and that it’s strongly discouraged by dental professionals.
However, knowing this, or for that matter, being told to avoid sugar doesn’t sway our appreciation for it. We continue to consume our yummy treats; although, maybe not as often we’d like because going to the dentist is NOT one of our favorite activities.
Yet, the question begs: ‘How bad can sugar really be? A little from time to time can’t be all that bad, right?’ The answer is: ‘Yes.’; although, not for reasons you may think.
Sugar in this context is refined. In fact, it’s as much an artificial sweetener as Splenda and Nutrasweet; it just happens to start out from an actual plant source. Refined sugar has many names i.e. Olestra, Sucralose, Sorbitol (anything ending in ‘ol’ is a sugar alcohol), Alcohol itself, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Corn Syrup, Maltodextrin, Brown Sugar, Turbinado Sugar, Glyceride, Glucose, Maltose, Fructose, etc and quite frequently, there is more than one of these ingredients as well as others listed on the label.
Unfortunately, they are not only found in foods we think of as sweets. Sweeteners are also found in low fat / no fat foods as well as low sodium products. The reasons for this are not a topic at this time. It’s just important to know where to look for them as you consider reducing your sugar intake.
Awareness is certainly a key component for transformation, but knowledge isn’t often reason enough for making a drastic change in our life. Not to mention, when we’re told not to do something, we tend to want to do it even more.
Oh sure, preventing cavities would be nice and as for gum disease, well, that’s something old people get (which isn’t true); so, why bother to eliminate something you like?
Let’s just say, there is a systemic link. Sugar contributes to an acidic body which is conducive for disease. Additionally, there are direct negative consequences on the digestive system, i.e. depleting our enzyme stores as well as such minerals as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and chromium, in addition to interfering with our neurotransmitter production.
What does all this mean? In a nutshell, sugar is far worse for the body than just causing cavities, gum disease or being linked to Diabetes.
As we lose our ability to digest foods, we no longer assimilate or absorb nutrients properly. The minerals lost from sugar consumption alone impact our ability to sleep, burn fat, maintain proper pH, think clearly, have a healthy heart as well as nervous system. To complicate matters, there are too many foods containing some form of ‘sugar’ which increases our ingestion even when we’re consciously trying to reduce our consumption.
Unknowingly, our health remains at risk. Now combine this with other refined carbs (which also deplete the very same nutrients) and our triglyceride levels skyrocket. As mentioned, chromium is one of the minerals depleted and very necessary for not only regulating our blood sugar but our cholesterol levels as well.
This being said, high cholesterol and high blood pressure are NOT age related. Additionally, both are linked to heart disease which is linked to gum disease. Given the introduction of processed and packaged foods at younger ages, we’re seeing an increase in oral systemic issues earlier in life. While it may seem a little sugar now and again is ok, it’s not, unless you simplify your diet and consume mostly whole foods.
Tammy Davis has worked in dentistry and nutrition for 34 years. It is her passion to educate patients on the oral systemic link and assisting them with being healthy and feeling good. For additional information feel free to visit her website You Are Source and contact her with any questions.
Read Related Dental Articles
Topics: Tags: alcohol alcohol, artificial sweetener, blood pressure, brown sugar, decay, dental, dental professional, dentist, dentistry, digestive system