Christmas is a time for overindulgence. Many of us look forward to feasting over the festive period, with all kinds of sugary and savoury delights on offer. While it’s hugely pleasurable and enjoyable to treat your taste buds at Christmas, it is worth bearing your health in mind. Sugar is bad news for your teeth, and if you can try and reduce your sugar intake this year, your smile will thank you for it. Here are some simple ways to avoid excess sugar this Christmas:
- Steer clear of sugary drinks: when you’re listing all the things you’ve eaten and adding up calories and sugar intake and you’re prone to going a bit crazy at Christmas, you probably exceed the RDAs long before you even factor in what you’ve had to drink. To combat excess sugar, stick to diet and sugar-free drinks, drink plenty of water and milk, and try and cut out fizzy drinks. It’s particularly important to steer clear of sugary drinks like pop, alcopops, cocktails and fruit juices between meals.
- Opt for savoury treats: if you fancy treating yourself this Christmas, moderate your intake of cakes, sweets, chocolates and biscuits, and opt for savoury treats instead. A cheese board is a great tooth-friendly alternative to Christmas pudding or treacle tart, for example.
- Skip extra sugar in your tea and on your cereal: if you’re used to piling a load of sugar onto your breakfast cereal or adding a couple of teaspoons to your morning cup of tea, skip these extras. You’ll soon get used to tea without sugar, and if you can’t bear the taste, you could add a sweetener or a dash of honey, which contains natural sugars. Try and choose breakfast cereals that contain whole grains and have low sugar content, such as porridge, wholegrain bran and Weetabix.
- Check food labels: nobody wants to spend Christmas revising nutritional information, but it’s easier than ever before to stock up on healthier goods, thanks to the traffic light system. Keep foods that have a red light for sugar content as treats, rather than staple items of your festive diet.