Depending on how much you consume on a daily basis, sugar intake can have a massive effect on both your oral and physical health. It’s been estimated that the average person in the UK gets around 16-17% of their daily calorie consumption from sugar, yet it’s recommended by the World Health Organisation that this should actually be as low as 5%. If you’re looking to take control of how much sugar you put away, you must gain an understanding of those hidden amounts in food and drink.
Troubled by a sweet tooth or not, here are some popular sugary offenders:
‘Healthy’ Juices & Smoothies
The ‘healthy’ message that’s normally associated with consuming fruit could eventually have a detrimental impact on the state of your mouth due to high levels of sugar content. Fructose can cause cavities in the teeth and the high acid amounts in fruit may also damage enamel.
Whether it’s a cosmopolitan cocktail or a sugary cider, your weekend drinking ritual may be destroying your oral health. There can be up to 20 grams of sugar in one pint of cider as well as around 20 grams in a double measure of sweet fortified wines like sherry.
Soups, Sauces and Spreads
From salad dressings to pasta sauces, the hidden sugar content in these savoury specials are likely to be higher than you’d expect. Some French dressings can contain up to 7 grams of sugar and many supermarket pasta sauces can have between 6 and 12grams per serving.
Breakfast Bars & Cereal
Don’t be deceived by the ‘healthy’ marketing messaging on breakfast bars – the hidden sugar count in these sweet snacks are often on the same level as a bar of chocolate. Additionally, cereals such as muesli can contain around 23 grams of sugar per serving because of their dried fruit content.
Not many people may know about this one but some of the most popular bread brands can contain up to as much as half a teaspoon of sugar per slice, as well as supermarket sandwiches often being sweetened for a better taste.