5 Ways to swap out sugar in your diet

Sugar naturally occurs in all foods containing carbohydrates such as fruit, vegetables, grains and dairy. Naturally-occurring sugar is slowly digested in the body, releasing a steady supply of energy.

However, added sugar typically found in packaged foods is the main cause for exceeding the recommended daily intake of 50 grams or 12 teaspoons of sugar. It’s thought that around 70% of all packaged foods on Australian supermarket shelves contain added sugar.

“47% of adults (18+ years) are consuming too much sugar”

We already know that high sugar intake has adverse effects on oral health. Sugar reacts with the saliva and bacteria in the mouth that eats away at those pearly whites.

Studies have linked high sugar intake to an increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, chronic inflammation, obesity and type 2 diabetes.

How to reduce your sugar intake

It’s worth reading food labels for sugar content and checking the recommended daily intake (%) provided on packaging. In the meanwhile, you can also reduce your table sugar intake by swapping it out for some of these alternatives:

1) Frozen fruit such as grapes, blueberries, mangoes and bananas are a sweet addition to a smoothie. Add whole oats, your milk of choice and you’ve got yourself a meal.

2) Medjool dates have a low GI (<55) and are a great way to add texture and colour in baking.

3) Honey is less processed than sugar, has a lower GI (45-64) and contains nutrients and antioxidants.

4) Coconut sugar contains a fibre called inulin, giving it a low GI quality. While it has the same caloric intake as cane sugar, it’s less processed and contains nutrients.

5) Maple syrup is high in sugar but has less calories than honey and contains nutrients and antioxidants.

*These substitutes all still contain sugar but react differently in your body. Always eat in moderation.

Dental Health Week runs from 3rd to 9th August and promotes awareness on ‘how much sugar is hiding in your trolley’. Read more about Dental Health Week here.

Are you due for a check-up and clean?

Book your next appointment with the team at Mount Lawley Dental Clinic today.

1) https://www.scimex.org/newsfeed/hidden-sugars-unmasked-on-australias-supermarket-shelves

2) https://www.foodstandards.gov.au/consumer/labelling/Pages/Sugar-labelling.aspx

3) https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/the-sweet-danger-of-sugar

4) https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317728#Benefits-of-honey

5) https://foodwatch.com.au/blog/carbs-sugars-and-fibres/item/honey-is-it-healthier-than-sugar.html

6) https://www.healthline.com/nutrition

7) https://www.foodstandards.gov.au/consumer/nutrition/Pages/Sugar.aspx