Friday, September 25, 2015

Not Just Soda - Other Surprisingly Sugary Drinks

As we discussed in a recent post, sweetened drinks like soda can do significant damage to your teeth; as the sugar mixes with bacteria in your mouth and leads to acid erosion and the potential for decay.  You may think switching to fruit juices or other seemingly healthier beverages may be the solution, but you’ll likely be shocked to know just how much sugar some of these alternatives contain. 

Here’s an eye-opening list for you, as detailed in a recent CNN report:

Beverage                                                   Grams of Sugar      Equivalent to:
20 oz. Coca-Cola                                        65                            5 Little Debbie Swiss Rolls
15.2 oz Minute Maid 100% Apple Juice      49                            10 Oreo Cookies
23 oz. Arizona Green Tea with Honey        51                            20 Hershey's Kisses
16 oz. Red Bell                                           52                         ¾ cup Frosted Flakes Cereal
8 oz. Skim Milk                                            11                             4 Starburst Candies
Naked Berry Blast Smoothie                       29                             8 Chips Ahoy Cookies
32 oz. Gatorade                                          56                      5 Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
Starbucks Iced Flavored Coffee                  28                            2½ Krispy Crème Donuts                        
To put this in even more perspective, the World Health Organization is proposing new guidelines that recommends we consume less than 5% of our total daily calories from added sugars.  For the average adult, that would be about 25 grams of sugar.  So, you can see how a Starbucks iced coffee with flavored syrup in the morning, and a few sports or energy drinks throughout the day can send you soaring over the recommended limit. 

The healthiest way to hydrate?  Of course, it’s water.  It’s fine to treat yourself to an occasional sweet treat – but it’s wise to check the sugar content on the nutritional label before you start sipping.  To lessen the damage to your teeth, drink these beverages through a straw when you can, and rinse your mouth out with water afterwards.

If you have teens or tweens, share this information with them.  If you have young children who haven’t developed a sweet-drink habit yet, work to get them to appreciate a cool, fresh cup of water as much as fruit juice.  Arming yourself with information is the best way to keep your family’s teeth healthy, and it’s as easy as reading a label.  

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