Using SweetLeaf as a substitute for sugar has many benefits. For example, sugar causes weight gain which in turn can cause obesity and diabetes. Plus, the American Heart Association (AHA) has made the link between sugars and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
The AHA recommends a daily added sugar limit of no more than 9 teaspoons/36 grams/150 calories for men, and 6 teaspoons/25 grams/100 calories for women and children (ages 2-19). Children under the age of two should not consume added sugars at all.
Everyone knows that sugar can cause tooth decay; we’ve been told that since we were children. But what does sugar do to teeth and why is it so harmful? What other problems can result from tooth decay and poor oral health?
It’s not difficult to find articles that claim sugar doesn’t cause cavities, but those claims should be scrutinized. For example, researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, reviewed the findings of the U.S. National Institute of Dental Research (NIDR) from 1959 to 1971, and found something surprising.
While the NIDR did suggest that making dietary changes could limit cavities, they never mentioned sugar as being a cause. Why? It turns out most NIDR members were also members of the International Sugar Research Foundation, a group sponsored by the sugar industry.
How do sugars cause cavities? Sugars in food activate bacteria in your mouth, called mutans streptococcus, which love sugar. The bacteria feed on the sugars which remain on your teeth after eating anything sweet, and they convert the sugars to a dangerous acid which removes the minerals from tooth enamel, the protective outer layer of the tooth.
While saliva and fluoride can help restore some of the minerals which are lost to the acid, the constant attack by acid-making bacteria eventually weakens and permanently deteriorates the enamel.
In January 2016, the American Dental Association (ADA) released new guidelines which called for Americans to limit their intake of added sugars. Just two months earlier, the ADA House of Delegates formally endorsed the World Health Organization’s recommendation to limit added sugars to less than 10 percent of daily caloric intake.
The danger in eating sugar isn’t just that it causes cavities; rather, it’s the cascading stream of health problems that sugar-loving, cavity-causing bacteria can create, and which can lead directly to cardiovascular issues. According to an article from The Mayo Clinic, there are two ways in which poor oral health can affect your heart:
- Endocarditis – The endocardium is the inner lining of the heart. Those sugar-craving bacteria in one’s mouth can quickly build up and spread through the bloodstream. These bacteria attach themselves to the endocardium, causing inflammation and reducing the heart’s ability to function.
- Cardiovascular Disease – There is research which suggests heart disease, clogged arteries, and strokes might be linked to inflammation and infections caused by oral bacteria.
When the American Heart Association and the American Dental Association both say excess sugars aren’t good for cardiovascular health, it’s probably a good idea to listen.
Additionally, in the past few years, several studies have looked at the bacteria found in the brains of people who had Alzheimer’s when they were alive. The bacteria on which researchers have mainly been focused is Porphyromonas gingivalis, the main bacterium involved in gum disease, which is a known risk factor for Alzheimer’s.
It’s uncertain how P. gingivalis gets into the brain, but there are plausible routes it could take. Your mouth normally hosts a diverse and relatively stable community of bacteria, but when dental plaque builds under the edge of your gums, sugars can cause the plaque to become inflamed creating an environment in which P. gingivalis can thrive and release toxins which can get into the bloodstream and spread throughout the body.
Perhaps a good way to support brain health is to take care of your teeth and gums. According to WebMD, “Bacteria in your mouth feed on sugars and starches from food, fueling them to release the acids that attack tooth enamel. Junk food and candy have a lot of extra sugar and starch. Avoid them to keep your teeth and gums healthy.”
Why is SweetLeaf a better alternative to sugar? Stevia has been found to be non-acidogenic, which means that—unlike sugars—it contains no fermentable carbohydrates. The sugar-loving, cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth don’t find the molecular structure of stevia appealing, so the enamel-damaging acids are not produced.
Replacing sugar with SweetLeaf is surprisingly easy and delicious.
Try a few of our online recipes, submitted by a range of people; from SweetLeaf fans to professional chefs. We have appetizers, entrees, sides, desserts, and beverages, all of which reduce the amount of sugars without affecting flavor.
Plus, for those with special dietary restrictions, SweetLeaf Stevia Sweetener is organic, Paleo, vegan, kosher, keto-friendly, and contains no artificial ingredients. In fact, the entire family of SweetLeaf products contains no sugars, calories, or artificial sweeteners.
Maybe you have your own recipes you love and would like to reduce or even eliminate sugars in them. That’s easy as pie (our Low-Sugar Apple Pie, to be exact). We have an interactive Stevia Conversion Calculator which automatically calculates the amount of SweetLeaf to use in your recipes. We also have a printable and downloadable Stevia Conversion Chart which will also help you swap out the sugars.
They say, “Be true to your teeth or they’ll be false to you,” so start today, being true to your teeth—and your heart—by switching from sugar to SweetLeaf, the only sweetener to win more awards for taste and innovation than all other low- or no-calorie sweeteners combined: SweetLeaf Stevia Sweetener.