As kids our moms warned us that having too many sweets would rot our teeth. Well guess what, mom was right! A typical can of soda can contain as much as 10 teaspoons of sugar! And we all know that some Americans, especially teenagers, sure can guzzle their soda!
Do you know how much sugar you and your family drink every day? According to the American Dental Association (ADA), the consumption of soft drinks, fruit juices, and sports drinks has increased by 500% over the past 50 years in the United States. The ADA reports that Americans consume more than 53 gallons of carbonated soft drinks per person per year. Some people find it difficult to avoid these sugary drinks since there are nearly 450 different soft drinks available in the United States.
What’s alarming is that most people don’t realize how much sugar they, or their children, consume on a daily basis. A research project published in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that the average American eats the equivalent of 21 teaspoons of added sugar a day and that’s about 2 ½ to 3 times more sugar than recommended. Excess sugar consumption is associated with obesity, diabetes, and other conditions linked to heart disease. The study warns that eating a diet that is extremely high in sugar can be as dangerous as having one that is high in fat.
The study showed that people who ate the most added sugar had the lowest HDL, or good cholesterol and people who ate the least amount of sugar had the highest HDL, or bad cholesterol. The study concluded that eating large amounts of added sugar more than tripled the risk of having low HDL, which is “a major risk factor for heart disease.” The American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugar in the diet to no more than 100 calories a day for most women and 150 calories a day for most men. That equals about 6 teaspoons of sugar a day for women and 9 teaspoons for men. Did you know, however, that just one 12-ounce can of regular soda can have up to 10 teaspoons of sugar!
Eating and drinking excessive amounts of sugar affects the health of your mouth, too. Consuming too much sugar may lead to oral health problems such as tooth decay and gum disease. Sugar weakens and erodes enamel, the protective outer surface of teeth, and this makes teeth more susceptible to harmful bacteria and decay. Simply put, eating and drinking too much sugar can cause cavities. A cavity starts as a small hole in your tooth. The ADA explains on their website that when you eat or drink sugary or starchy foods, the sugars and plaque on your teeth mix together to make an acid. The acids in your mouth attack your teeth and can make cavities.
Cavities cannot be fixed by themselves. They can only be fixed by a dentist who will remove the decay and put a filling in the hole left in your tooth. So what can you do to prevent cavities? The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing at least once per day, visiting the dentist regularly, and making nutritious food and beverage choices.
Source by Josh Gershonowicz