National Smile Month launched this week which is the UK’s largest and longest-running campaign to promote good oral health.
The key messages National Smile Month are promoting are to:
Brush your teeth last thing at night and on at least one other occasion with a fluoride toothpaste.
Cut down on how often you have sugary foods and drinks.
Visit your dentist regularly, as often as they recommend.
The hardest of these 3 has got to be cutting down on sugar… which, you’ll have noticed, has been in the news a lot recently. The Government have given a strong endorsement of the dangers of consuming too much sugar with their recent announcement that they will be introducing a Sugar Tax in 2017.
Turns out that fat has wrongly been labelled the enemy, and in its place (to make things taste nice) sugar has increasingly crept into our food. So much so, that The World Health Organisation is now recommending no more than 6 teaspoons (9 teaspoons for men) of sugar a day - that's 25g.
The trouble is sugar is everywhere… hiding and lurking in things you really don’t expect it to be. Here’s our top 5 ‘healthy’ foods that are actually hiding a huge amount of sugar…
1. Granola and Museli
So even those cereals that you feel really virtuous eating are actually hiding a ton of sugar. We were surprised recently to see that even Bran Flakes have quite a lot of added sugar. Good cereals to eat are Shredded Wheat and Weetabix as these have no added sugar. Try adding cinnamon to sweeten them.
2. Cereal Bars
Better than grabbing a bacon roll on the way to work? Nope. They often contain more sugar. Remember that honey, although natural, is still a sugar too. Added dried fruit also dramatically increases the sugar content as all the fruit's sugars are concentrated in the drying process.
3. Low Fat Yogurt
Yogurt can be a great addition to your diet, but steer clear of any flavourings, added fruit or low fat versions as they are actually full of sugar. When the fat is removed from yogurt, it really doesn’t taste very nice so sugar is added to make it palatable. Not good for your teeth or your health though…
Sorry, it isn’t just the more obvious sweet things that can be hiding sugar. Soup can often have added sugar too. Read the list of ingredients when choosing which one to have. The higher up the list of ingredients that you find sugar, the more there is in the product.
5. Baked Beans
A great source of fibre and protein. However, the great British baked bean is hiding over 20g of sugar in one tin, that’s almost all of the maximum amount of sugar the WHO recommends.