Sneaky Ways to Cut Down Sugar During the HolidaysDecember 1, 2016
Sugar is not good news for dental health. Although Halloween is behind us, the full blown sugar season is upon us. I’m no Grinch and anyone who visited Artful Smiles Facebook page knows that we are big fans of cakes and pies, but moderation is the key. This is the most wonderful time of the year if you know how to indulge wisely. However, moderation is tough for many people during the holidays and frequent sugary attacks on your teeth can cause decay thus increasing likeliness for fillings and other dental treatments.
Sugarplum Fairies can end up costing you greatly in terms of dental visits as well as contribute to weight gain, fatigue and even depression. So let’s be sneaky and avoid sugar overindulgence without compromising our holiday cheer. All it takes is a little preparation and common sense to keep sugar from running the show.
Think before you drink
Beware of sweet coffees consumption. Those pumpkin spice lattes and peppermint mochas pack enough sugar for two days according to dietary intake recommended by American Heart Association. Spiked eggnog, ciders, and other holiday cocktails also pack a lot of sweet stuff. So, instead opt for clear distilled spirits and wine, which are naturally lower in sugar.
Like so many people, I especially enjoy holiday baking, but I always cut the sugar in recipes in half and my family is never the wiser. The trick is to add a little more spices such as vanilla or nutmeg for flavor. Over time, the less sugar you eat, the more sensitive you become to it, which can help you reduce sugar intake even more.
Embrace savory treats
When you are cutting back on sweets, allow yourself to indulge in savory treats such as high-quality cheeses, olives and spreads. The higher fat content in these types of foods is great in preventing cavities and as a bonus can curb appetite.
Have a game plan
During holidays, it’s often the social side of sugar that is particularly challenging. Seek to understand if you are eating sugary treats because everyone is, or is it closely tied to the joy you feel when celebrating. Decide ahead of time how you’ll approach social gatherings with food. Can you avoid desserts all together? Can you be satisfied with just one small serving of something you really crave? Can you improve on a classic recipe to make it healthier?
It’s sneaky – outsmart sugar by planning ahead.
At Artful Smiles we often discuss sugar intake with our patients whenever we see spikes in cavities. We can also recommend nutritionists in the area who can help you and your family to achieve health goals – no need to wait until New Year resolutions. There are also a few helpful websites which can help you manage your sugar intake. One of our favorites is Happy Sugar Habits with helpful tips and recipes to keep you healthy and jolly through the holiday season and beyond.
Artful Smile Dental Studio wishes you and your family a magical holiday season and happy New Year filled with health and joy!