You’ve probably known since you were a little kid that sugar is bad for your teeth and gives you cavities, but with sugar making headlines in health-related news lately, it’s becoming clear that it’s also the underlying cause for many health issues. Here are some of the main reasons why sugar is bad for your health and why you should eat less of it.
The main reason why sugar is a leading cause of tooth decay is its acidity. When you consume sugary foods like candy or drinks like soda and juice, you create an acidic environment in your mouth, which is ideal for the bacteria that cause tooth decay to thrive. Now imagine what this does to the rest of your body. A diet high in sugar leads to acid reflux, candida, hypertension, and even hormonal imbalances such as adrenal fatigue and thyroid dysfunction, and eliminating it from your diet can have immediate benefits.
A high level of sugar consumption is one of the leading causes of type 2 diabetes. When you consume too many sugary foods, your body has to produce lots of the hormone insulin in order to process all of it and put it to good use in the body’s cells. Eventually, your body begins to develop resistance to its own insulin and needs more of it in order to get the job done. This is essentially the cause of diabetes and is the reason why diabetics must carefully maintain their sugar levels through dietary restrictions and insulin injections. Eating a diet higher in protein and lower in sugar and carbohydrates requires the body to use less insulin, which stabilizes blood sugar levels and helps prevent the onset of diabetes.
When the majority of your diet contains sugar and refined carbohydrates, you are missing out on more nutrient-dense foods that your body needs. Sugar consumption is now considered a leading cause of obesity, heart disease, and even certain types of cancer. Eating sugary foods often leaves you feeling unsatisfied and hungry again a short while after eating, making you reach for even more sugary foods to pull you out of your energy slump. Getting caught in a cycle of eating sugar all day long to keep yourself from crashing means you are getting an overload of empty calories that lack the nutrients that your body needs. Eliminating sugar from your diet is tricky since it finds its way into everything from tomato sauce to chicken stock, but there are ways to keep your sugar intake under control. Drinking plenty of water and sticking to unsweetened beverages can save your teeth from decay and your waistline from unnecessary calories. Avoiding processed foods and eating a diet high in protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates keeps you feeling satiated and gives your body the vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients that it needs for everything from building and repairing tissue to manufacturing hormones. Growing Smiles Pediatric and Family Dentistry knows that good oral hygiene and healthy habits begin in childhood. Encouraging your child to eat a nutritious diet and practice good dental care will set them up for a lifetime of good health and happy smiles. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!