Sugar cereal,  jelly beans, cookies, chocolate– the list goes on and on! We ALL love all things sugary, don’t we? But did you know that sugar can actually be addictive? According to some researchers, sugar triggers pleasure in our brains, and, therefore, we seek more of it thinking it will cause us even more pleasure.

Not only do we associate sugar with a general sense of pleasure but we use also sugary foods for celebrations – who ever heard of sticking a candle into a head of cabbage for a birthday party, right? And surely the Easter Bunny doesn’t deliver grapes instead of chocolate eggs, right?

But wait, don’t we all know that all that sugar is bad for us? In addition to weight gain, too much sugar also promotes tooth decay and bad breath and has been associated with the development of diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. And yet, our consumption doesn’t end. It is hard to break the habit! So what can we do?

While the TUNG Brush and Gel team wants happy readers and customers, more than anything, we want HEALTHY readers and customers! Here are a few tips to help you break the sugar habit:

  1. Don’t substitute artificial sweeteners for sugar. Even if you aren’t getting the calories, you are still getting the sweet sensations and there are also documented health risks associated with some of the artificial sweeteners. You may think you are fooling your body, but you are still addicted.
  2. Eat more fruit! Fruits have natural sugars, so not only do they provide you with essential vitamins, they can satisfy your sweet tooth. But don’t go overboard!
  3. Start an exercise regime. Even if you take short walks to begin with, you will find your cravings diminish with physical exercise.
  4. Have some snacks around. Substituting the sugar craving with some granola based trail mix, some baby carrots or a handful of peanuts works! Having the sensation of snacking helps keep those jelly beans out of your mouth!
  5. Get a good night’s sleep. Studies have shown that tired people tend to need more sugar, so if you catch up on your sleep, you will not only require less sugar, but you will feel better and attack every day with a new sense of enthusiasm.
  6. Chew sugar-free gum.Yes, we know we said not to substitute artificial sweeteners for sugar, but studies have shown that chewing gum WILL help keep your sugar cravings down – and it freshens your breath, too!

And, importantly,

  1. DON’T PUNISH YOURSELF! Yes, you should break the sugar habit, but that doesn’t necessarily mean NEVER having sugar again! Control is the answer! So, by all means, don’t put candles in a head of cabbage for your next birthday party, and let the Easter Bunny deliver at least one chocolate egg!

And don’t forget all that sugar can feed the bad bacteria in your mouth, particularly the ones that hang out on your tongue. Decreasing your sugar consumption can help decrease the overgrowth of this bad bacteria and help you have a fresher, healthier mouth. Cleaning your tongue helps get rid of this bacteria, too! Cheers to healthier living!