What Is A Healthy Diet?
A healthy diet includes a variety of foods from the six food groups. Different foods have different benefits for your body. Eating a variety of foods ensures that your body gets all the nutrients it needs to be healthy.
You can have a healthy diet by following these simple steps below.
Choose your foods wisely from each of the six food groups:
grains, half of them whole grains, such as whole wheat bread, brown rice or oatmeal
vegetables, especially dark green or orange-colored ones
milk products, such as low-fat yogurt or low-fat cheese
lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts
oils, most of them from fish, nuts, and vegetable oils
Eat foods that are low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, and salt (sodium).
Avoid a diet high in added sugar, which increases the risk for tooth decay.
Eat a variety of foods from each of the six food groups. By eating a variety of foods, you get all the nutrients that different parts of your body need.
Drink water between meals, which helps your overall health. Also drink water after eating to help wash away food particles.
Why Is A Healthy Diet Important?
A healthy diet:
provides nutrients needed for your body to function properly
helps prevent diseases linked with being overweight, like diabetes and heart disease
helps you keep your teeth and gums healthy
It is important to make smart choices when you snack. More and more, we are learning it is not only what you eat, but how often you eat. Frequent snacking or grazing can lead to tooth decay. When you are choosing a snack, think about the following:
Limit snacking throughout the day. Stick to meal times whenever possible.
Make healthy snack choices, such as fruit, nuts or cheese.
Eat sweets with meals instead of as snacks. Saliva increases during meals and helps weaken acid and rinse food particles from the mouth.
Avoid beverages with added sugar such as soda, sports drinks or flavored waters.
Chew gum that has the ADA seal. Chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after meals has been shown to reduce tooth decay, because increased salivary flow helps wash out food and neutralize the acid produced by dental plaque bacteria.
A Healthy Diet Helps Keep Your Mouth Healthy
If you often eat or drink sugary foods and liquids, especially between meals, and if you don’t bother to clean your teeth, the result may be tooth decay and periodontal disease. These can lead to tooth loss.
Plaque is a thin, sticky film that constantly forms on teeth. When you eat or drink foods containing sugar, the bacteria in plaque produce acids that attack tooth enamel. The stickiness of the plaque keeps these acids in contact with teeth. After many acid attacks, the enamel breaks down and a cavity forms.
If the plaque is not removed with daily brushing and cleaning between teeth, it eventually hardens into calculus, or tartar. As calculus forms near the gumline, it becomes more difficult to keep teeth clean. Gums can become inflamed and may bleed. Sometimes the disease can get worse, and the gums can begin to pull away from the teeth and form pockets. If this condition, called periodontitis, is not treated in time, the bone supporting the teeth can be destroyed and healthy teeth may be lost.
You can help prevent these oral health problems by taking a few minutes each day to care for your smile and eat a healthy diet.
Healthy Mouth Tips
For a healthy mouth, follow these tips:
Brush your teeth two times a day with a fluoride toothpaste, for at least two minutes each time. Clean between your teeth with floss or another between-the-teeth cleaner once a day. Use dental products that have the ADA Seal of Acceptance.
See us regularly for cleanings and check-ups.
Make smart food choices for snacks and meals. Eat a balanced diet with different foods from all six food groups.
Drink water instead of drinks with added sugar such as soda, sports drinks or flavored waters. Drinking water with fluoride can help prevent tooth decay.
Healthy Smiles For Life
A lifetime of good oral health depends on the choices you make today. Making smart choices about food and keeping good oral health habits can help you have both a healthy body and a healthy smile for years to come. For more tips on how to make healthy eatig choices, visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s website, www.mypyramid.gov.
Eating Right For A Healthy Smile
Most people know that a healthy body begins with a healthy diet. But did you know the foods you eat also affect your oral health? No matter what age you are, it is important to eat right for a healthy body and a healthy smile.