Low sugar snacks to curb pregnancy cravings

Could hidden sugars be affecting your oral health?

Pregnancy sugar cravings

Whether you are in the first, second or third trimester, cravings can strike at any time. While snacking on a little bit of what you fancy keeps your sugar cravings at bay, frequently consuming sugar, even hidden sugar, can have a detrimental effect on your oral health.

Treat-time tooth terrors

Every time you eat sugar, your teeth are exposed to harmful acid that is produced and can increase your risk of tooth decay.

Frequently drinking fizzy drinks can also put your teeth at risk because they are made with carbon dioxide gas, which turns into a very dilute acid in the drink. If drunk regularly, this can dissolve tooth enamel.

Sweeten up on spotting hidden sugars

A survey of 2,000 people revealed that despite growing concerns about our sugar consumption, the UK's sugar knowledge is not so sweet. One in five Brits (21 per cent) don't believe chocolate contains sugar, and 22 per cent think biscuits are sugar-free.

Other food and drinks that people believed were sugar-free included:

• Sweets (20 per cent)
• Hot chocolate (30 per cent)
• Fruit (40 per cent)
• Fizzy drinks (20 per cent)
• Fruit Juice (38 per cent)

Frequent consumption of sugar, whether in drinks, snacks or food, is the primary cause of tooth decay. As well as being painful, tooth decay can discolour teeth with grey, brown and even black patches.

Label learnings

54 per cent of people admitted they want to reduce their sugar intake, but only one in five could tell whether a product contains sugar by reading ingredient labels. 80 per cent said they don't always check the list of ingredients before buying or eating food, and over a third (38 per cent) said they didn't know the difference between 'sugar-free' and 'no added sugar'.

With sugar 'hidden' in so many unexpected foods and drinks, managing our daily sugar consumption can be a challenge.

But fear not, there are so many simple changes you can make on a daily basis to cut back on unwanted sugar and still enjoy a healthy and tasty diet, leaving you with healthy habits that your teeth will thank you for'.

Top tips for combating your sugar snacking:

1. Try to stick to homemade meals from scratch so you know exactly what's in them
2. Even though they contain fructose, a natural sugar, don't avoid fruit altogether. The sugar in whole fruits is naturally occurring in its original state, and fruit is packed with fibre
3. However, steer clear of fruit juices and smoothies. Juicing or puréeing fruits removes their beneficial fibre
4. The same applies to dried fruit too – although it contains a fair amount of fibre, it's high in sugar and calories and can stick to your teeth, which can cause tooth decay between meals
5. Though they might seem healthy, pasta sauces and soups can also contain sugar. Make your own for a better taste and fewer calories
6. You can still have dessert and stay sugar-free! Ditch ice creams for plain yoghurt and fresh fruit
7. Stock up your desk with vegetable sticks, hummus, nuts, cheese and plain rice cakes, so you're not reaching for the biscuit tin at work

Your sugar snack swap cheat sheet

Sugar Swap Infographic

Denplan have set up a dedicated sugar resource website with information on where hidden sugars can be found, low sugar recipe ideas, and information on the importance of regular dentist visits and a better oral health regime.

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