Sure, sugar tastes good, but it isn’t very good for you. In fact, sugar has a whole host of negative effects on your body when it is over-consumed, including increased risk of cognitive decline, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, metabolic problems, and more. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sugar can also “crowd out” healthier foods, leading to lower vitamin and mineral levels, even if you eat an otherwise nutritious diet.
Even coming down from an occasional sugar binge can have adverse effects on the mind and body, including fatigue and depression. We’ve all experienced this, and we usually call it a “sugar crash.” Like just about anything that triggers dopamine in our bodies, sugar is addictive, and breaking the habit can be difficult, especially when there are so many sweetened snacks, drinks, and treats just lurking around. Fortunately, your Overland Park dentist has a few hints to help you beat your sugar addiction once and for all!
1. Go For Gum.
If you’re craving something sweet, chewing sugar-free gum can help you get your fix, and you won’t consume a bunch of sugar. Plus, chewing sugar-free gum that is approved by the American Dental Association can even help to keep your teeth clean between brushings!
2. Try Some Fruit.
Fruits contain naturally occurring sugars that can help to satisfy your sweet tooth while also loading you up with vitamins, nutrients, and fiber. Go for fresh fruits wherever possible, because many dried fruit products contain added sugar. When in doubt, read the label!
3. Take A Walk.
If you find yourself craving something sweet while you’re sitting at your desk in the afternoon, get up and take a walk around the building or around the block. The extra exercise will do you good, and it can help take your mind off your craving.
4. Eat Regularly.
The longer you wait between meals, the more likely you are to choose foods that make you feel “full” right away. Unfortunately, those foods are often loaded with sugars and fats. While they may make you feel good in the short term, their long-term effects are pretty bad. Make it a point to eat at about the same time every day and try to eat something every three to five hours in order to keep your blood sugar stable throughout the day.
5. Avoid Artificial Sweeteners.
Artificial sweeteners may seem like a windfall if you’re trying to cut sugars out of your diet, but many experts believe that artificial sweeteners don’t actually do anything to help curb your cravings. They may even help to perpetuate the feedback loop of sugar addiction.
Breaking any habit requires a little dedication and hard work, but the good news is that breaking your addiction to sugar is within your grasp! And if you need help, you can always reach out to your Overland Park dentist for advice! Just call Watts Family Dental at (913) 338-3384 if you’re struggling with kicking your sugar addiction or to schedule an appointment!