When we think of sugary sweets, we usually think of desserts like cookies, cakes or candy. However, high amounts of sugar can be found in some unlikely places including low-fat snack foods, spaghetti sauces and canned fruit. Just because a food claims to be nutritional, doesn’t mean it isn’t full of sugar. This begs the question, how much sugar is too much?
According to Marion Nestle, professor of nutrition at New York University and author of the book What to Eat, anything with more than 15 grams of sugar should be considered in the dessert category. For a more visual comparison, four grams of sugar is equivalent to one sugar packet. That’s a hard figure to swallow when you consider that one 20 oz. bottle of Coca-Cola Classic is equivalent to more than 16 sugar packets.
Large amounts of sugary foods pose a significant threat to your dental health. The culprit is plaque, the sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on your teeth and gums. Every time bacteria come in contact with sugar and starches in the mouth, acid is produced which attacks your teeth for up to 20 minutes. These acids leave your mouth more susceptible to enamel erosion, cavities, tooth decay and gum disease.
It is obviously recommended that you lay off the sweets as much as possible. However, when you do eat sugary foods it is important to clean your teeth as soon as possible. In cases where brushing is not an option, consider drinking water or chewing sugar-free gum.
Be sure to check out our list of sugar shockers. The next time your sweet tooth is making your tummy rumble, you may want to think twice about what you’re putting in your mouth.
Check out the sugar content of these common food products:
• 2 tablespoons of Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey Barbecue Sauce – 3.75 sugar packets
• 1 Cherry Pop Tart – 4.25 sugar packets
• 1 small serving cup (113 g) of Motts Apple Sauce – 5.5 sugar packets
• 6 oz. Yoplait original yogurt – 6.75 sugar packets
• 1/3 cup Craisins dried cranberries – 7.25 sugar packets
• 20 oz. Vitamin Water – 8.25 sugar packets
• 1 California Pizza Kitchen Thai chicken salad – 11.25 sugar packets
• 16 oz. Snapple Iced Tea (Peach, Lemon, or Raspberry) –12 sugar packets
• 16 oz. Starbucks café vanilla frappuccino grande – 14.5 sugar packets
• Super Big Gulp of regular soda from 7-Eleven – 32 sugar packets