Cutting out sugar is one of the best things you can do for dental health. Refined white sugar is super processed and has a negative effect on your health and especially your teeth. But don’t think of sugar only as the white stuff that is sweet because there are other white foods (think carbohydrates) such as bread, pasta, donuts, candy, cake and pie that do as much damage as pure sugar. The reason is that these carbohydrates, when eaten, turn to sugar when saliva in your mouth begins the digestive process.
So, if you are faithfully avoiding refined sugar, what are you using as a substitute? Being human, it’s too hard to give up the sweet taste, but there are healthy and unhealthy substitutes. If you want to keep or improve your health, both oral and body, opt for natural sugar substitutes and avoid chemical artificial sweeteners. Faithfully read labels on products and avoid foods that contain artificial sweeteners.
Aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal, SugarTwin): found in drinks, tabletop sweeteners, yogurt, candy, desserts, gum, and medicines. This sweetener is 200 times sweeter than sugar and is found in many processed foods.
Sucralose (Splenda, Equal Sucralose) – this sweetener contains 95% dextrose (or glucose) and maltodextrin as a bulking agent. Derived from sugar and found in sodas, microwave popcorn, pickles and English muffins, sucralose is calorie free but using too much can pose health threats especially for children.
Stevia Leaf Extract (Turvia, PureVia, Sweetleaf, OnlySweet, Stevia in the Raw): Some of these brands have other ingredients or refined sugar added, so read labels if you want pure stevia without additives. Stevia is one of the natural sweeteners recommended by natural health professionals.
MonkFruit Extract (Monk Fruit in the Raw, Purefruit): Another natural health professionals’ favorite, monk fruit is extracted from the juice of an Asian subtropical melon and has a slightly fruity taste. The fruit has a long history of consumption in China, where it’s used medicinally.