When we think of sugary sweets, we usually think of desserts like cookies, cakes or candy. However, high amounts of sugar can be found in some unlikely places, including low-fat snack foods, spaghetti sauces and canned fruit. Just because a food claims to be nutritional, doesn’t mean it isn’t full of sugar. This begs the question, how much sugar is too much?
According to Marion Nestle, professor of nutrition at New York University and author of the book What to Eat, anything with more than 15 grams of sugar falls in the dessert category. For a more visual comparison, 4 grams of sugar is equivalent to one sugar packet. That’s a hard figure to swallow when you consider that one 20-ounce bottle of Coca-Cola Classic is equivalent to more than 16 sugar packets!
Large amounts of sugary foods pose a significant threat to your dental health and promote plaque, the sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on your teeth and gums. Every time bacteria come in contact with sugar and starches in the mouth, they produce acids that attack your teeth. These acids leave your mouth more susceptible to enamel erosion, cavities, tooth decay and gum disease.
It is obviously recommended that you lay off the sweets as much as possible. However, when you do eat sugary foods, it is important to clean your teeth as soon as possible. In cases where brushing is not an option, consider drinking water or chewing sugar-free gum.
Be sure to check out our list of sugar shockers. The next time your sweet tooth is making your tummy rumble, you may want to think twice about what you’re putting in your mouth.