Hidden Sugars

At Creative Smiles, we often have patients say that they don’t eat sweets, biscuits, or fizzy drinks, yet decay is occurring. Sugar is a sly creature who turns up in the most unexpected places! So if you want to avoid eating excess amounts, you need to be prepared to do some label reading.

A lot of food products disguise sugars under names that are not always familiar. Other foods are savoury, and so very often it wouldn’t occur to you to check the label.

Food expectancies currently state that a high level of sugar means there is more than 15 g of it per 100 g of the product. Some foods in the UK have a traffic light system on their packaging that flags up these high levels, so look out for these red circles on the packaging.

Not all manufacturers follow this system, so it is worth checking the ingredient list. When looking at the ingredients list, not only should you look for the word sugar, but you also need to look for ingredients ending in “ose,” a term used as a suffix for sugars that include fructose, lactose, sucrose, glucose, etc.

Sugars can also be listed as carbohydrates. When reading labels, remember that no added sugar doesn’t mean that the product is sugar-free; it simply means that no sugar has been added to it.

To help reduce decay, cut down on the amount of sugary foods and drinks you consume and try your best to limit them to meal times.