January 16th-20th is National Sugar Awareness Week! Can You Take the Challenge?

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January 16th-20th is National Sugar Awareness Week! Can You Take the Challenge?
Posted on 01/09/2017

Sugar-awarenessBRACKETOLOGY, January 2017 

Happy New Year! This month at Lower Merion and Blue Bell Orthodontics, we are researching the harmful effects of excessive sugar intake.  According to the World Sugar Research Organization (WSRO), sugars are a class of food energy called carbohydrates.  They can be subdivided into different groups and classifications and are found naturally in a many fruits, vegetables, milk products, and grains.  In these forms, sugars are a large part of a healthy and balanced diet.  However, one class of sugars known as sucrose or table sugar can be quite harmful when consumed in excess. 

National obesity is increasing at a very high rate.  Unfortunately, some foods that are high in sugars promote increased fat gain because they can require less energy to digest.  Furthermore, more evidence is accumulating to suggest that table sugar can be highly addictive.  Increased consumption of table sugar and obesity are linked to the development of a number of diseases including certain types of diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and some cancers.

Also, eating foods with high levels of sucrose, such as candy, can have a harmful effect on your teeth.  Many bacteria that can be found in your mouth are capable of digesting simple sugars easily and quickly.  The digestion of these sugars by the bacteria leaves behind a byproduct that is highly acidic.  It is this acid that is created by the bacteria as they digest the sugars in your saliva, that results in the break down of the surface of the teeth.  The minerals on the tooth surface are eroded and a hole can form in the outer tooth layer.  This broken tooth area is a cavity!  Two great ways to prevent cavities are to brush your teeth frequently to decrease the amount of bacteria on your braces and to limit the amount of table sugar that you eat.

It is always important to remember the rule of everything in moderation.  Even table sugar is not always bad.  For example, table sugar is used medically as part of an oral rehydration solution.  The solution can be given to children in developing countries who are severely dehydrated.  In this way, table sugar has saved millions of lives internationally every year.

For more facts about sugar and sugar awareness, visit the following website:

http://sugarawareness.com/

As a challenge, we ask you to try to eliminate table sugar from your diet for five days and see how you feel.  You may feel healthier and more energized when you avoid processed food products with high table sugar levels.  Instead, eat more fruits, vegetables, grains and healthy proteins.

Thank you all again and happy and healthy eating!

Dr. David Markowitz and Dr. Lauren Gray