Ask the Dentist: Sugar-free brownies with marshmallows? Well, they're a start...

Dentist Lucy Stock of Gentle Dental Care in Belfast says that our lockdown-inspired home-baking habit is a chance to make life less sweetened

Our brownies stretched their 'sugar free' recipe description beyond believability but, having less sugar, were at least a tiny step in the right direction
Lucy Stock

I CAN'T eat, I can't speak, I can't breathe, sing or dance – who am I? Answer: a mum of teenage children in lockdown. Yes, so much more time together to be told off for existing. Love it.

During those intermittent times that communication with the children was all flowers in the garden, I have been baking with them with varied results. I've been suggesting that we try some sugar-free recipes.

Some of the recipes have tickled me with the creator's loose interpretation of the term 'sugar free'. I just loved the sugar free chocolate brownies with the marshmallows in them. Anyway, a tiny step in the right direction so we made them. You could taste they weren't as sweet but still the baking tray contents were demolished.

As it looks like we have two more weeks of lockdown and many of us have more free time, it could be an opportunity to try to reduce the white stuff and give your teeth and body a health hug.

This is especially relevant as the CDC (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention) highlighted that severe obesity – defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above – puts people at higher risk of complications from Covid-19.

If you're used to eating a lot of sugar, it can dull your taste buds to the flavours of natural foods. No panic: just as you learned to love all that extra sugar, you can learn to unlove it.

I've been checking out the sugar-free apps to help maintain motivation and one interesting one is the free change4life food scanner app. This will scan most popular foods and let you know how many sugar cubes, grams of saturated fat, grams of salt and calories there are in a product. Great sound effects and very visual so especially good if you want to get children involved.

The other app that stood out is the sugar stop challenge, for £4.99. You can track your progress and they've even included water alerts and hypnosis sessions to boost your momentum. I love the panic button for snack and distraction tips. You can also link up to the Facebook group for support and ideas.

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