It is not uncommon to see recipes these days labelled as refined sugar free as people substitute white, brown, or raw sugar what we traditionally think of when we think of sugar) with ingredients such as dates, coconut sugar or rice malt syrup.
These substitutes are in many cases just another form of sugar that provides little to no nutritional benefits and can increase your risk of developing tooth decay.
Dates are a commonly recommended replacement for sugar in recipes. But do you know that 1 date has 16 grams of sugar? So, although dates are a good source of fibre, when adding dates in baking recipes be aware of their high sugar content and sticky nature which can contribute to tooth decay.
Other commonly recommended sugar alternatives include syrups such as maple syrup or rice malt syrup. These products are also very high in sugar and can increase your risk of developing tooth decay.
While the idea of replacing white, brown or raw sugar with a possible healthier alternative, a lot of the other options are still high in sugar and increase your intake of free sugars and your risk of developing tooth decay. The sugar molecules in a tablespoon of honey are not superior to the sugar molecules found in a tablespoon of white sugar. To protect our teeth, what we need to be focusing on is the amount of sugar we are consuming and trying to limit our intake of free sugar to 6 teaspoons or 24 grams per day. That is why it is important to read the Nutrition Information Panel and understand how to interpret the included information.