Consume sugars, sweets and sugary drinks within the right limits
Sweet taste is linked to a series of both natural and artificial substances. The natural ones mostly belong to the category of simple carbohydrates or sugars (complex carbohydrates, such as starch, have no sweet taste). Artificial ones are represented by molecules of different chemical nature. In habitual nutrition, the most important sources of sugar are sweet foods and drinks. Common sugar (sucrose) is obtained by extraction from both beetroot and sugar cane, which represent its richest sources. It occurs naturally in ripe fruit and honey, which also contain fructose and glucose. Milk contains another sugar, lactose. Maltose is a sugar present in small quantities in cereals; it can also be formed from starch for hydrolysis, fermentation and digestion processes.
Sugars are easily absorbed and used, albeit with different rapidity. The consumption of sugars, especially if taken alone, therefore causes a rapid rise in blood glucose (i.e. the concentration of glucose in the blood) which then tends to return to the initial value (glycemic curve) within a more or less long period. This “glycemic rise” is the mechanism that compensates for the feeling of physical and mental fatigue and the sense of hunger that one feels away from meals or in all those situations in which there is a hypoglycaemia or “drop in sugar”. However, it is a disadvantageous event for those who, like diabetics, have difficulty using glucose at the cellular level.
However, even in the diets of diabetic subjects it is possible to include sugars and sweets, as long as they are consumed in controlled quantities and as part of a meal, that is, accompanied by other foods and especially by dietary fiber that slows down their absorption, thus avoiding the appearance of too high blood sugar peaks. Simple sugars can be consumed as sources of energy for the body, within the limits of 10-15% of the daily calorie intake (corresponding, for an average diet of 2100 calories, at 56-84 grams). Particular attention must be paid in cases of diabetes or in those of intolerance (the lactose one is rather widespread).
Sugars have been directly attributed to causing caries. In reality, the latter would determine not only the quantities, but also the methods of consumption. If in fact it is true that the microorganisms present in the oral cavity, easily fermenting carbohydrates, determine the formation of acids that can attack the surface of the teeth and therefore start the carious lesion, it is equally true that for the occurrence of the latter event it is long enough food to remain in the oral cavity to determine attachment to the tooth surface. Basically, the risk of tooth decay formation is the higher the more frequently you consume foods containing sugars, both alone and together with the starch, and the longer they remain in the mouth before brushing your teeth.
Therefore, in addition to a limitation in the consumption of sugars and sweets, the risk of caries is reduced by an appropriate and prompt oral hygiene, especially if accompanied by adequate contributions of fluorine and calcium which favor the formation of a compact and resistant enamel.
In conclusion, how to behave:
- Moderate the consumption of sweet food and drinks during the day, in order not to exceed the allowed amount of sugar.
- Among the desserts better choose traditional baked goods, which contain less fat and sugar and more starch, such as biscuits, unfilled cakes, etc.
- Use controlled quantities of sweet products to spread on bread or rusks (such as jams, fruit jams, honey and creams).
- Limit the consumption of products that contain a lot of sucrose, and especially those that stick to the teeth, such as soft candies, nougats, etc. Brush your teeth anyway after their consumption.
- If you want to consume low-calorie sweet foods and drinks sweetened with substitute sweeteners, read the type of sweetener used and the warnings to follow on the label.
Expert in bio-natural and psycho-corporeal techniques. Sound therapist trained at the Centro de Terapia de Sonido y Estudios Armonicos by Albert Rabenstein in Buenos Aires.