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Cooking Alternatives for Your Sweet Tooth

Saturday, June 10th, 2017

sweet tooth

Sometimes, you just need to satisfy your sweet tooth! While some sugar is okay in moderation, be careful not to indulge too often—you might be consuming more than you think. Not to worry, we’ve got you covered; check out these clever cooking alternatives to cut back on your sugar intake.

What’s All the Fuss About Sugar?

Your teeth will thank you for avoiding large quantities of sugar. Consuming too much sugar not only causes cavities, but it also attacks your enamel, which is vital to maintaining a healthy mouth (6).

Excessive amounts of sugar can also prevent your body from getting its proper nutritional needs; this is because sugar is full of calories that lack nutrients. Calories without nutritional value can quickly lead to fat gain and even metabolic issues. Another problem with consuming too much sugar is that it can actually make you crave more food, even if you were already quite full and just wanted something a little sweet (1).

Cooking at home with natural ingredients can help you avoid some of these sneaky hidden sugars that are found in countless products off the shelf. 

Use Fruits with No Added Sugar

Did you know you can use fruit such as no-sugar added applesauce to add some extra sweetness to your baked goods? At the same time, it cuts back on calories and fat, if that’s one of your health goals as well!

Muffins, bread, and even CAKES can be made with applesauce in place of added sugar, butter, and/or eggs. When starting out with one of these recipes, just be sure you purchase the applesauce with no sugar added. It might take some adjusting, but you’re waistline and teeth will be sure to thank you.

cut back on sugar

Pour in Some Organic Milk or Cream

Making a savory soup? Or want to sweeten up your coffee just a little? Pour in some organic milk or cream. These both contain lactose, which is a natural sugar that can do wonders for sweetening up simple recipes (2). While you’re getting the sweetness you crave, you’ll also be getting the calcium your body needs (4). Bonus! (Of course always check with your dietician, if you have specific dietary needs!)

Beets? Yes, Beets!

Did you know that beets are sweet? Not only can they be used to add sweetness to your recipes, but they also add rich color. In fact, grated beets were often used in the very first red velvet cakes (2).

Incorporating this lovely colored vegetable into your diet can also improve your health. They help lower your blood pressure, boost your stamina, fight inflammation, and help your body detoxify (5). Beets can add moisture to baked recipes while avoiding butter or oil, so try throwing some grated beets into your next chocolate cake–or even a soup, smoothie, or sauce (2).

eat beets

Try Out Stevia

A healthy sugar alternative that has become quite popular in the last few years is called Stevia. Stevia is a 100 percent natural, zero calorie sweetener that is actually derived from a leafy plant (1, 7).

Just like any other sweetener, Stevia should be used in moderation. However, using it can help you lower your blood sugar level and your blood pressure (7). The great thing about Stevia is that it’s an easy swap for sugar. Whether you’re using the liquid stevia extract, stevia powder, or ground stevia leaves, it’s easy to quickly look up online the conversion between the two when you’re cooking or baking.

Your Oral Health is Our Priority

Making small changes like these while baking and cooking can improve the overall health of your teeth. We want to ensure that your mouth is at its best!

Ready to schedule your next checkup? Or have a question about dental health, decay prevention, or our teeth cleaning services? We are here for you! Give us a call at (513) 251-5500 and we will find a time that works best for you.

Sources

  1. http://www.cincyrehabcenter.com/blog/nutrition-hidden-sugar
  2. http://www.prevention.com/food/healthy-eating-tips/how-to-sweeten-without-artificial-sweeteners/slide/9
  3. https://draxe.com/maple-syrup-nutrition/
  4. http://blog.foodnetwork.com/healthyeats/2013/11/02/cream-good-or-bad/
  5. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/01/25/beets-health-benefits.aspx
  6. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/nutrition/food-tips/9-foods-that-damage-your-teeth
  7. https://authoritynutrition.com/stevia/

Hagen Dental’s Top 5 Tips to Stay Healthy This Summer

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

1. Stay hydrated…in terms of what your body needs. For many people, the suggestion to “drink half your weight in water” or “drink 8 to 11 glasses of water a day” may be enough water to keep them hydrated. While those are generally good numbers to strive for, during the summer months, be sure to keep in mind how playing outside or changing up our eating habits can really affect how much liquid we still need to take in. Said another way, you might need more than 11 glasses.

Remember that often times, tap water has fluoride in it, and that can help your teeth stay strong. Another reason to turn to water instead of pop or other beverages is that it can help get rid of residual sugar after snacks and meals.

2. Don’t call it a workout, call it “play.” Many of us are already staying active this summer – but sometimes turning things into a game can be a better way to get your workout in. And, the whole family can participate when it’s a game!

3. Switch out your toothbrush. If you change your toothbrush (or the head of your electric brush) now, then remember to change it again in two to three months. Just think of all that bacteria that CAN build up if you don’t!

4. Sleep smarter. It’s no secret that being sleep deprived can affect all areas of our lives. For one week this summer, try to avoid hitting the snooze button over and over each morning. Or, try out sleeping in total darkness. For those who regularly drink caffeine – try not to do so near bedtime. And don’t forget to brush your teeth when you first get out of bed in the morning, and when you go to bed at night (when cavity-fighting saliva will be at its lowest!)

5. Check in with your dentist. If you already have a dentist appointment, then sign up for your next appointment when you’re still in the office! If it has been awhile since you went to your dentist, schedule your next appointment this month! Or, if you have a young child, the American Dental Association recommends that you schedule your child’s first visit around her first birthday. Make sure to do so with a pediatric dentist.

Have any questions on dental health for Hagen? Or do you have any other healthy lifestyle tips to implement this summer?

If you’d like to setup an appointment with Hagen Dental, visit the About Us page on our website or stop in our office. Or, “follow” us on Twitter and “like” us on Facebook.

If you are interested in more of the latest health-related articles, visit the NY Times’ health beat.