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Sugar itself is not bad for your teeth and 4 other surprising facts about sugar

Posted April 11, 2017

We eat sugar every day in massive amounts even without knowing it. It is everywhere, even in food that is seemingly not sweet. And we do know it is bad for you, but in this amazingly large number of articles circling around the web every day there are many misconceptions. University of Alberta compiled 5 surprising facts about sugar everyone should know.

Sugar is everywhere – it is not as easily visible as here. Image credit: david pacey via Wikimedia

Sugar is NOT bad for your teeth. Well, ok, it really is, but not in itself. If your teeth were completely clean from bacteria, sugar would not be able to do any damage to them. Bacteria that live in your mouth consume sugar and produces tooth-harming acids that break down our teeth. Interestingly, it means that the longer sugar stays in our mouth, the more damaging it is. So if you are eating some sweet treats, it is better to do it quickly. Furthermore, eating one big sugary meal a day is better than five or six smaller ones, because sugar has less time to feed the bacteria.

Sugar is sugar is sugar. Sure, you would like to trick yourself into thinking that honey is natural and thus very good for you – it is not sugar at all. But it is – sugar is sugar whether you are calling it honey or pentahydroxyhexanal. And it does the same to your teeth and health as the natural white sugar you put in your coffee. However, honey has a greater nutritional value and some other health benefits. It is also quite a bit sweeter than alternatives, so people tend to use less of it.

Sugar is everywhere. Do you like bread? It has sugar now. Salad dressing, tomato sauce, hotdogs – sugar is everywhere. Food industry is using it to make these products tastier – it fools our brains into preferring products with more sugar and thus food industry has to respond. Healthy cereals? Right full of sugar too.

Children taste sugar differently. Actually, they taste everything differently because they have twice as many taste buds as adults. So it should mean that sweets for children do not have to have as much sugar, right? Yes, but they get used to that intense sweetness, which makes them add more and more sugar to their food as they age.

You cannot defeat sugar. You are thinking for yourself that brushing your teeth with save your mouth and exercising will save your body. If your discipline is right, sugar cannot touch you. It can and it will. Brushing your teeth and exercising are both very good ideas, but long-term damage, which may lead to cancer, obesity, heart disease, degenerative and inflammatory arthritis and osteoporosis, may still occur. Cutting down on sugar is the best way to alleviate these risks.

We eat so much sugar it is really hard to follow these days. However, cutting down on it little by little is really not that difficult and it can improve one’s health significantly.


Source: University of Alberta

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