Posted in Diet, Food, Health and lifestyle

Healthy food does not mean sugar-free food. Eat wisely, smile nicely.

11 healthy foods that have hidden sugars and can lead to cavities

Author: Dr Rita Trakhtman, cosmetic dentist, East St Kilda

This list of food is food that people often have on a daily or regular basis. It is the regularity of eating these foods that leads to cavities. It can be quite deceiving because you’re eating healthy for the body without realising you’re damaging your smile.

  • Soy milk – I have yet to see any soy milk that does not contain sugar, syrup or honey. All lead to cavities.
  • Swap it for: Either opt for unsweetened almond milk, goats milk or cows milk (A2 for those who are a bit sensitive to regular milk).


  • Almond milk – some have added sugar.
  • Swap it for: unsweetened almond milk. Some of the unsweetened ones are quite bitter however. The Vitasoy unsweetened one is not bitter and my preference in terms of flavour.


  • Dried fruit – sticky, concentrated sugar. Gets stuck in and on your teeth for hours. The longer they are stuck in your teeth, the worse it is for your teeth.
  • Swap it for: fresh fruit, frozen fruit, nuts. If you’re going to stick to dried fruits, make sure you check the ingredients on the back of the packets. You want to get one without any added sugars.  aid867246-728px-Make-a-Dried-Fruit-Pickle-Step-1


  • Honey and agave syrup – another form of sugar. Commonly added to yoghurt or tea instead of sugar. Unfortunately your teeth don’t know any better. From your teeth’s point of view, honey and sugar are the same thing.
  • Swap it for: other flavourings, such as cinnamon or mixed spice. For more alternatives, read The Sweet Experienceassam-tea-in-cup.jpg


  • Store bought dressings. While salads are healthy, the dressings are often not.
  • Swap it for: home-made dressings. For a basic recipe, go to Smiles That Fit Your Lifestyle!                             6945025116_15f010d4b0.jpg


  • Protein shakes and bars– read the label as many have added sugar
  • Swap it for: sugar-free versions. They do exist!

Whey Protein

  • Frozen yoghurt – consider this a dessert not a snack.
  • Swap it for: DIY frozen yoghurt
    • Ingredients:
      • Greek yoghurt
      • frozen berries of your choice (strawberries, raspberries)
      • milk or water
    • Blend in a blender. Tada!


  • Flavoured yoghurt – they all have added sugars.
  • Swap it for:  Greek style yogurt and add your own fruit, cinnamon or nuts.


  • All types of bread – white, multigrain and wheat bread is full of sugar.
  • Swap it for: rye bread or spelt bread.

Multigrain Bread 2.jpg

  • Sushi – just be aware that sushi rice has added sugar because of the vinegar.


  • Flavoured canned tuna
  • Swap it for: oil or water tuna, chilli oil tuna


  • Iced tea, flavoured water, sports water and energy drinks. A small 500ml bottle of iced tea contains 8 teaspoons of sugar. You wouldn’t eat 8 teaspoons of sugar, so why would you drink it
  • Swap it for: water is the best drink by far. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice (just enough for a dilute lemony taste) or fresh torn mints leaves for flavour. Added bonus is water is great for healthy looking skin and amazing for your body.


  • Muesli bars and toasted muesli. They contain added sugar, syrup and/or honey.
  • Swap it for: Plain oats and add your oat toppings to them, such as coconut oil. For more suggestions, check out The Sweet Experience



What to do if you’ve had a sugary food? 

Either of the following is a start:

  • Chew sugar-free gum
  • Brush your teeth around half hour after consumption
  • Mouthwash that contains fluoride
  • Swap it for a healthier alternative (also check out Grocery Shopping)


How often we eat sugar is more important than how much sugar we consume. This means if you’re going to eat a chocolate bar, for example, it’s better to eat the entire chocolate bar all at once, rather than taking a bite every half hour. Frequency is more important than quantity. It’s also better to have the chocolate bar as dessert (straight after a meal) rather than as a snack on its own.


Author: Dr Rita Trakhtman, cosmetic dentist, East St Kilda



An online healthy lifestyle blog from a dental point of view - Advice on how to live a healthy lifeSMILE :)

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