5 supermarket snacks you should be avoiding
Tabitha Acret, Dental Hygienist at AIRFLOW Dental Spa shares the 5 snacks you should be AVOIDING at the supermarket.
A trip to the grocery store can become quite overwhelming when you're trying to decipher what's healthy and what's not. Confusing labelling, packaging, marketing, food placement all make what should be a simple task, harder. The terms ‘healthy’ and ‘organic’ tend to make decisions a little more complicated too; often a sneaky way of saying there are sugar alternatives packed within (unknown to the average consumer).
Excess sugar consumption plays a detrimental role in our overall health, not to mention the inextricable link to tooth decay and gum disease amongst both children and adults.
Here are the top five snack foods you should think twice about before buying:
Protein bars, also sometimes referred to as energy bars, are more often than not candy bars in disguise! I was very recently scanning the shelves to find one for myself and when reading the backs of labels saw one bar in particular contained 40 grams of sugar per 100-gram serve. That's almost half the nutritional content.
Sweeteners too are often added to take away from the unsavory flavour of protein.
Of course, this varies between bars and brands so it is important to also read the labels and make a healthy decision.
I don’t want to stop you from eating yoghurt as it can be a very healthy snack for adults and children, however, you'd be surprised to learn that some tubs contain more sugar than soft drinks.
The majority of products on the shelves are sweetened to taste and as a result, can have upwards of
17 grams of sugar per 100-gram serve. My advice here is to stick to natural Greek yoghurts and add
real fruit for flavour. You want to be purchasing a product that has less than 10 grams of sugar within.
Many parents reach for a fruit cup because it is an easy and convenient snack option, perfect for any lunch box as it doesn’t need peeling and won’t get damaged. Sadly, this snack in particular provides no nutritional value, it is more sugar than it is fruit.
The healthy alternative? You guessed it, a real piece of fruit. Banana peels, orange rind, it’s all part of nature’s packaging.
Usually found within the health food aisle, and quite heavily advertised, granola is another culprit of hidden sugars. As a way to make breakfast tastier and more appealing, you'll see lots of brands adding dried fruit, nuts, even chocolate nibs to the mix. I strongly suggest reading the labels as supermarkets aren't afraid of tricking you into eating dessert for breakfast.
Being a refreshing beverage, many people (myself included) love iced tea! When you just don't feel like a glass of water if feels like this is a better alternative to soft drinks or juice, however, pre-made iced teas can be a trap. Some brands found on your supermarket shelf can contain up to 8.5 teaspoons of sugar! Why not have a crack at a homemade version, adding in some berries to sweeten it naturally. This will decrease your sugar content drastically.
Knowing what's in your food means educating yourself properly and always reading the labels. If we cut back on sugar we are eliminating our risk of suffering from disease while keeping our pearly whites strong and intact. Beyond making healthy choices in the supermarket, it's just as important that you establish a routine when it comes to visiting the dentist for professional cleans.
Brush your teeth, read those labels, and happy shopping!
Treatments such as the AIRFLOW © Dental Spa are gentle and non-invasive using only high- pressure water and cleansing powder to remove any lasting bacteria or sugary residue.
To experience the AIRFLOW Dental Spa visit www.airflowdentalspa.com.au to find your closest
dental practice. Can’t find a practice near you? Recommend your local dental practice