Sugar is a large part of most people’s diet, most of the time people are unaware just how much sugar is in their favourite foods. As Halloween approaches, being aware how much sugar is present is important to make sure that children are not eating an excess of their sugar intake over the holiday.

The World Health Organisation recommends our sugar consumption should only make up five percent of our total daily calorie intake, which equates to about 25g or six teaspoons per day.

The Australian Health Survey found that in 2011-2012, Australians were consuming an average of 60g of sugars each day, or the equivalent of 14 teaspoons of white sugar.

Do you know how much sugar is in your daily diet? Did you just have a quick snack? A 250ml can of Coca-Cola and a packet of 4 Oreos? You just ate 40.5g of sugar. In just one sitting you have nearly doubled the recommended intake for an adult.

Do you know the effects of sugar on the body?

• It overloads and damages your liver. The effects of too much sugar or fructose can be likened to the effects of alcohol. All the fructose you eat gets shuttled to the only organ that has the transporter for it: your liver. This severely taxes and overloads the organ, leading to potential liver damage.

• It tricks your body into gaining weight and affects your insulin and leptin signalling. Fructose fools your metabolism by turning off your body’s appetite-control system. It fails to stimulate insulin, which in turn fails to suppress ghrelin, or “the hunger hormone,” which then fails to stimulate leptin or “the satiety hormone.” This causes you to eat more and develop insulin resistance

• It causes metabolic dysfunction. Eating too much sugar causes a barrage of symptoms known as a classic metabolic syndrome. These include weight gain, abdominal obesity, decreased HDL and increased LDL, elevated blood sugar, elevated triglycerides, and high blood pressure.

• It increases your uric acid levels. High uric acid levels are a risk factor for heart and kidney disease. In fact, the connection between fructose, metabolic syndrome, and your uric acid is now so clear that your uric acid level can now be used as a marker for fructose toxicity.

Did you know that carbohydrates start to be digested in the mouth straight away as you’ve got digestive enzymes in your mouth, so some of the sugar basically enters through your cheeks? Sugar is also extremely bad for your teeth; it feeds bacteria in your mouth that then break down the enamel on your teeth. That is why dental care is really important. Eating a healthy amount of sugars and visiting the dentist regularly will make sure that you continue to have healthy teeth and gums.

The fact is you are going to have better nutrition long term if you’ve got good teeth since you will be able to eat a large variety of different foods. Therefore as Halloween is fast approaching, we need to be mindful of how much sugar both children and adults are eating.

For some alternatives to the sugar-filled lollies, try these:

Granola Bar

Organic Juice Box

Honey Sticks

Hot Chocolate Packets

Sugar-Free Chewing Gum

Otherwise, if you are looking for non-edible options:

Mini Flash Lights

Stickers Bubbles

Slap Bracelets

Glow Sticks

Bouncy Balls

Halloween styled pencils/erasers

Temporary Tattoos

There are many ways to enjoy Halloween without a huge intake of sugar lollies. Be smart with your sugar intake!

For a check-up, Contact Us today to book your appointment and make sure your teeth are as healthy as they can be! Don’t wait for the pain!