Snacks do not have to be bad for you. In fact, the best healthy snacks for teeth and for children can provide needed nutrients and calories. Of the not healthy snacks for healthy teeth, those with sugar are at the top of the list. Many snacks are high in sugar and it's even hard to avoid the sugar in foods. Sugar craving is an addiction to sweets. Sweets are almost an aphrodisiac, and it's been said great for releasing stress. If you are the type that has a sweet tooth, once you take a bite of any rich sweet desert, it is very difficult to stop. And of course eating too many sweets can cause tooth decay and eventually poor oral health. Learn how to stop sugar cravings with tips from Cleure.
Why Stop Sugar Cravings?
Sugar is addicting, causes tooth decay and has a reputation of being the enemy of good health. It's interesting that once you stop eating sugar for a few days, you don't crave it any more. It's the first few days that are the hardest.
There are different types of sugars. Some are worse than others for healthy body and healthy teeth.
Types of Sugar
According to the American Diabetes Association there are two main types of sugar:
- Naturally occurring sugars such as found in milk (lactose) or fruit (fructose)
Added sugars, added to fruit canned in syrup or table sugar (sucrose).
There are many names for sugar including table sugar, brown sugar, molasses, honey, beet sugar, can sugar, confectioner's sugar, powdered sugar, turbinado, maple syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, agave nectar and sugar cane syrup.
Sucrose, also known as table sugar or cane sugar is half glucose (starch) and half fructose (sweetness). What you need to know is that fructose puts a burden on the liver because that's where it's metabolized. It's hidden in white sugar, cane sugar, beet sugar and even agave nectar.
The most common artificial sweeteners that have been tested by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are:
- Acesulfame K (Sunett, Sweet One)
- Aspartame (Nutrasweet, Equal)
- Saccharin (Sweet 'N Low)
- Sucralose (Spenda)
These artificial sweeteners have multiple uses in food as well as drinks such as coffee, tea and soda. Over the years, some have been on the approved, and not approved list of the FDA.
Stevia is the latest sugar substitute and is referred to as Rebaudioside A or Reb-A or rebiana. The FDA
has agreed that it is safe in appropriate amounts. By many it is considered natural and better than the other sugar substitutes.
How to Stop Sugar Cravings and Eat Healthy Snacks for Teeth & Gums
If you have gotten into the habit of having a bowl of ice cream after dinner, or a muffin with your morning coffee, it becomes downright painful to switch to a bowel of cereal or oatmeal. Chocolate is another desired comfort food, with many a choclaholic in the U.S.A. contributing to the rising over-weight statistics. Many books have been written about the subject of sugar addiction. This is one reason why the low carbohydrate diet became so popular.
1. As suggested by Woman's Day, one way to know what's in your snack, is to read labels. By comparing labels, it's easy to choose the snack with less sugar. You may be shocked as to what unexpected foods have sugar, such as fruit juice or pasta.
2. Another way to curb your sweet tooth during the day, is to eat a more balanced breakfast that contains healthy carbs, such as a piece of toast or grapefruit.
3. Exercise, such as walking, is another way to slow down the sugar cravings. Fresh air and a brisk or casual walk can make a difference towards stresses of the day.
4. Finding great tasting substitutes for the snacks that are unhealthy is a great way to break the bad snack habit.
5. Clean out your kitchen of those snacks you love to hate. Replace them with healthy snacks.
6. When stressed, and wanting to reach for the unhealthy snack, practice some form of relaxation technique that works for you, such as deep breathing, thinking about the only temporary relief it will bring, read a book, watch a good movie or do some stretching exercises. A relaxing tea, such as chamomile tea or a visit to your local spa is also very helpful to relieve stress.
7. Keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
Tooth Friendly Snacks for Children and Adults to Improve Nutrition
Below are healthy snack ideas to stop sugar or unhealthy snack cravings and for weight loss.
After meals chew xylitol sweetened chewing gum
You will be pleasantly surprised how this helps with your desire for after meal sweets.
Munch on low glycemic fruit after meals or whenever the craving hits you. Some suggestions are:
- Cherries - 22
- Dried apricots - 25
- Apples - 38
- Pears - 38
- Plums - 39
- Peaches - 42
Other great quick healthy snacks
- Popcorn mixed with a handful of your favorite nuts. About three cups of popcorn is only 100 calories.
- Veggies with hummus dip. Hummus is low carb and low in fat as well.
- Low fat yogurt mixed with organic fruit sweetened preserves and a few almonds. Top with low fat non-dairy whip cream.
- Low or non-fat Greek yogurt with fresh organic blueberries or other fruit.
Remember to always practice good oral hygiene daily, no matter what you eat to help prevent poor dental health.
And next time you want to dish out your hard earned dollars for sugar filled snacks, instead partake of one of the choices above. You'll thank yourself later.