Let’s face it: We all love the taste of sugar. Biologically, we’re hardwired to love sweets. It’s a way our bodies ensure our survival when food is scarce. But like any strength overplayed, this taste for sweetness has become our weakness.
Just How Weak is America?
Here’s how we stack up to other countries in terms of daily sugar consumption:
The average American eats from 150 to 170 pounds of sugar a year!
From a dental perspective, that’s just way too much. Not only does it cause tooth decay and contribute to eventual tooth loss, we now know scientifically that plaque found in the mouth causes systematic inflammation that is related to heart disease, stroke, diabetes and a host of other chronic conditions.
4 Teaspoons a Day Tops!
In 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) presented evidence for setting a recommended maximum sugar intake of less than 10% of daily calories. Additional evidence suggested even more health benefits at a max of 5% of daily calories or less. To put it another way, if you consume a 2000 calorie diet, you cap your sugar intake to 60 calories to prevent caries – 4 teaspoons tops.
If you do cut your sugar consumption, you’ll be ahead of the dental curve. One powerful study that analyzed sugar intake and caries (tooth decay) rates in countries where sugar consumption changed due to wartime restrictions, it was clear that the higher the sugar intake, the greater the incidence of decay
While the evidence against sugar is certainly compelling enough to warrant a change in our daily sugar habit, only one question remains: Will we?
We hope so!