Myth No-1.Does sugar cause cavities?
Yes – if you don’t take care of your teeth. Sugar, just like other carbohydrates, can promote tooth decay. Bacteria live on our teeth and they feed on carbohydrate that gets stuck to the tooth surface. When you eat sticky, sweet foods like candy and toffee and don’t clean your teeth afterwards, the bacteria start to eat the sugar, which produces acid. This acid may then begin to break down the enamel on your teeth, which can lead to tooth decay and cavities.
If you’re going to eat sugary, sticky foods, eat them with your meals and then brush your teeth. If you can’t brush your teeth eat an apple or chew a piece of sugarless gum. The saliva you make when chewing gum helps to wash some of the sugar off your teeth.
Cavities can be prevented by brushing with toothpaste containing fluoride, flossing regularly, and visiting the dentist
Since intake of sweets is directly related to dental caries, it is recommended that total amount of sweets or carbohydrate rich food should be restricted.Low-fat cheeses, curd and other dairy products are packed with calcium and phosphorus and good for your oral health. Frequency of eating snacks in between meals should be reduced. Snacks should be chosen wisely. Instead of eating sandwiches and pastries, which are soft and sticky, snacks containing cheese (paneer), nuts (ground-nuts), corn, fruits or salads should be encouraged. These food items are not only low in sugar, but have definite anti-caries effect. Detergent foods like raw vegetables and fruits have added advantages of stimulating salivation, which in itself has anti-caries properties. Sweet, aerated drinks also cause increased caries and therefore their consumption should be reduced.
Myth no-2 Does sugar cause diabetes?
No. Eating foods high in sugar will not cause diabetes but yes, if you over indulge in processed and refined foods like white breads, white rice and pasta, your intake of simple carbs go up and that might pose a risk. Other risk factors for type 2 diabetes include:
- Age – being 40 years of age and older
- Overweight – especially if you have extra weight around the belly
- Family history
- Health conditions such as high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, high blood triglycerides and polycystic ovary syndrome
- Pregnancy related – gave birth to a baby that weighed more than 4 kg (9 lb) or had gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy)
- Being diagnosed with pre-diabetes
While sugar itself will not cause diabetes, eating a lot of foods that are high in sugar, fat and calories can lead to weight gain. Being overweight or obese is a major risk factor for diabetes. So choose complex carbs over simple ones and be active to stay fit!