As I was doing my Sunday grocery shopping last week, I stopped in the cereal section. My kids (well, maybe my husband as well) eat cereal for breakfast every morning and I’m usually on board with the request of Fruit Loops or Frosted Flakes.
Now, I’ve never put much thought into cereals. I just buy what they like; until last week that is. Imagine my surprise when I turned the box over and realized there is 12 grams of sugar in 1 serving! I felt so guilty knowing there was that much sugar in breakfast. I was slowly killing those beautiful teeth!
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 should be considered 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 (and Fruit Loops is equal to 3)!
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 and make sure you pay close attention to the food labels on the packages you buy. They will help you avoid dental problems!
The sugar content of these common food products is shocking!
• 2 tablespoons of Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey Barbecue Sauce – 3.75 sugar packets
• 1 Cherry Pop Tart – 4.25 sugar packets
• 1 small serving cup (113 g) of Motts Apple Sauce – 5.5 sugar packets
• 6 oz. Yoplait original yogurt – 6.75 sugar packets
• 1/3 cup Craisins dried cranberries – 7.25 sugar packets
• 20 oz. Vitamin Water – 8.25 sugar packets
• 1 California Pizza Kitchen Thai chicken salad – 11.25 sugar packets
• 16 oz. Snapple Iced Tea (Peach, Lemon, or Raspberry) – 12 sugar packets
• 16 oz. Starbucks café vanilla frappuccino grande – 14.5 sugar packets
• Super Big Gulp of regular soda from 7-Eleven – 32 sugar packets