5 foods packed with hidden sugars

Everyone knows that to keep your teeth in top condition you should steer clear of sugary soft drinks, chocolate, and other sweet treats. But are you aware of all the hidden sugars lurking in foods that seem relatively healthy? Some of the top culprits may surprise you…



1.       Bread

Toast may seem like a healthy option for an afternoon snack, and it certainly beats a slice of cake. But if you’re choosing processed supermarket brands, make sure you check the label – even bread that is marketed as ‘multigrain’ or ‘wheat’ may contain added sugar. Look for caramel colouring among the ingredients – this is an indication that a wheat loaf is actually just white bread with food colouring added. The healthiest options have ‘whole wheat’ or ‘whole grain’ listed as the primary ingredient.

2.       Salad dressing

Nothing is healthier than a big bowl of leafy greens – until you smother them in full fat dressing! Some salad dressings (including French dressings and vinaigrette) have as much as 7 grams of sugar per serving, which is nearly a third of the recommended daily intake for women and nearly a fifth of the recommended daily intake for men. Watch out for sugar variations on the label such as maltose, honey, glucose, and dextrose.

3.       Baked beans

Baked beans have a reputation for being healthy because they are full of fibre, however many tinned supermarket brands also have a high sugar content. Check the label and opt for a brand that has reduced salt and sugar. Tomato products (including pasta sauces and ketchups) are naturally acidic and can contribute to tooth erosion. You can minimise the damage by rinsing your mouth with water after you eat.

4.       Smoothies

They’re commonly marketed as being both healthy and delicious – but are smoothies a dentist’s worst nightmare? Fruit is naturally acidic, which can erode the enamel of your teeth. When blended into a smoothie, the combination of acid and sugar (in the form of fructose) can have a damaging effect, especially when you choose brands that use concentrated fruit juice. Making your own instead of buying bottled versions is the best way to avoid additional hidden sugars.

5.       Crackers

Unbelievably, some savoury crackers contain almost as much sugar as a biscuit. Don’t believe it? Take a look at the ingredients on the back of a packet next time you’re in the supermarket – if the second or third ingredient is sugar you may as well be eating a cookie. Rice crackers or oat cakes are a healthier alternative for your teeth.

Avoiding sugar completely is almost impossible, so it’s important to maintain your oral hygiene routine. Brush and floss twice a day and make regular appointments with your dental hygienist. To schedule an appointment with our experienced hygienists, Clare and Emily, contact Blyton Dental today. We look forward to your visit.