The government’s Change4Life campaign has launched a new initiative in a bid to reduce the worrying amount of sugar consumed by UK citizens, particularly children. Branded ‘Sugar Swaps’, the initiative shows how making just a few simple changes to your diet can have massive benefits to your family’s health.
On average, adults and children in the UK both consume almost twice as much sugar a day as is recommended. As well as causing serious damage to the teeth, excess sugar consumption is also linked with causing heart disease and type-2 diabetes.
Lancashire Dental will lead you through four easy swaps to get you started.
- Fizzy, sugary drinks for water, milk and no-added-sugar juice drinks. Sugary drinks are responsible for around a quarter of the extra sugar in a child’s diet so this makes a big, instant difference. Fresh fruit juice, while offering many health benefits, is also high in sugar so try to limit the amount consumed.
- Sugar for sweetener. Adding sugar to tea, coffee, cereals and other foods is unnecessary as there are many other types of sweetener, both natural and artificial, that can do the job just as well.
- Shop-bought for home-made. Pre-packaged and processed foods often contain amounts of sugar far beyond what would be expected or can even be tasted – a jar of shop-bought pasta sauce, for instance, can contain up to 8 teaspoons. Home made food is tastier, cheaper, healthier and more nutritious.
- Sweets for nuts, veg and fruit. Kids love sweets are there is nothing wrong with occasional indulgence as long as teeth and gums are well cared-for and regular exercise is taken. Making your own crunchy veg sticks is simple and with celery, the work is already done for you! Look out for interesting nut and seed mixes but always check the label – many foods that seem healthy on the surface contain hidden sugar!
Lancashire Dental warmly welcome the Sugar Swaps initiative and encourage all of our patients to get involved. Our dental team are constantly reminded of the dangers of excessive sugar consumption by the many restorative dental treatments they carry out and urge you to make as many swaps as you can, starting right now.