When serious dental problems were happening to athletes participating in the Olympic games, it wasn’t difficult to find the main causes. The habit of sipping sugary drinks and relying on sugar-laden protein bars throughout their training had taken its toll on their teeth, leading to a startling number of dental problems.
Although these issues were just as evident in Michael Jordan at the 1984 Olympic Games as they were in athletes in the 2012 games, it’s not just our world-class athletes who are affected. In gyms throughout the country, teens and adults choose snacks and beverages that coat their teeth in sugar, resulting in dental damage that can take them out of the game.
While many of these health snacks are bad options for your teeth, some are better options because they use Stevia or monk fruit rather than cavity-causing sugar. Explore the obsession with protein bars and whether there are protein snacks that can replenish your energy without harming your smile.
The Benefits of Protein Bars – Why Are They so Popular?
Protein bars are marketed as snacks that are ideal for athletes due to their high protein content, additional vitamins, and fiber. Individually wrapped and often available in fun chocolatey flavors, protein bars seem like the perfect snack to put into your gym bag to prepare for a tough workout. As a convenient snack and reliable protein boost you can take anywhere, it’s easy to see why protein bars are a tempting choice for young athletes.
The Problem With Most Protein Bars
The labels of popular protein bars tout their high levels of protein content but they keep their sugar content relegated to their nutrition labels for good reason. When a small snack is loaded with a large amount of sugar, it can quickly wreak havoc on your oral health. Much of the problem comes with seeing a protein bar as a legitimately healthy food rather than what it usually is – a candy bar with extra protein.
Finding Healthy Snacks with Low Sugar Content
If your favorite protein bar is packed with sugar, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to choose between a convenient snack and bad teeth. As evidence mounts about the harm caused by sugar, many companies that make protein bars have gotten the message. Fit-conscious Americans are tired of excessive sugar being added to the vast majority of their foods, and many companies are responding by selling low sugar variations of their products.
3 Protein Bars with Low Sugar
Protein bars that use alternative sweeteners and natural ingredients are far better for your body and smile than sugar. Check out these options as examples of snacks you can grab and take to the gym with you without doing damage to your teeth.
1. Chocolate Tart Cherry Pistachio – Vegan Protein Bars
These vegan protein bars by Bhu Foods are a prime example of using monk fruit to sweeten protein bars rather than sugar. With organic ingredients, 12g of protein, and only 1g of sugar, these snacks can give you the protein boost you need without putting your smile at risk.
2. Epic Bacon Bar
Packed with 8g of protein and a unique maple bacon flavor, these protein bars by Epic are a great choice that won’t leave sugar on your teeth. Taking advantage of a savory flavor rather than a sweet one is the strategy they use to cut back on sugar.
3. Cranberry & Sunflower Seed Mighty Bar
Made from grass-fed organic beef, Mighty Bars offer a clever twist on traditional protein bars. Since they have 8g of protein and only 3g of sugar, Mighty Bars are a healthy and fun way to get the low-carb snack you need without corroding your smile.
Make Excellent Snacking Decisions to Keep a Healthy Smile
When we’re working out at the gym, most of us aren’t thinking about the condition of our teeth. But the choices we make can have a major impact on our oral health. Committing to choosing low-sugar snacks to replenish your energy during and after your workouts goes a long way towards keeping your smile strong and healthy. When you’re ready to schedule your next dental appointment, contact Dr. Kovacevic in Greensburg, PA for top quality dental care for your whole family.