traffic-style sign that says "smile"Want to have a good report from your dentist in Scarborough come your next checkup? It turns out that foods that are good for your waistline are also good for your teeth and gums. These include lean protein sources, reduced-fat calcium products, and plenty of raw fruits and vegetables.

All of the Lean, Less of the Fat

Protein is the foundation of a healthy diet. But many protein sources are high in unhealthy saturated fats. Don’t worry, though. You can take the good and leave the bad by following these tips:

  • Opt for lean cuts of beef and pork or substitute low-fat chicken or turkey breast instead.
  • Use healthy polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fats instead of butter or lard when cooking.
  • Check the nutritional label for saturated fat content. This information can be a real eye-opener.

Add Calcium to Your Nutritional Game Plan

Enjoying healthy teeth and gums, not to mention bones, means eating a calcium-rich diet. Here’s some ideas for getting more of this essential nutrient:

  • Look for reduced-no versions of your favorite milk, cheese, and yogurt. Just watch out for added sugars.
  • Add fresh vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and kale to your food choices. They’re surprisingly high in calcium.
  • Munch on a few almonds, 3.5 ounces of this delicious, fiber-filled snack have 26% of the US RDA for calcium.

Don’t Forget Your Fruits and Vegetables

Raw or minimally cooked fruits and veggies are essential to a healthy diet. Here’s how to get enjoy these deliciously natural foods while limiting your sugar intake:

  • Choose fruits that are low on the glycemic scale. For example, apples and strawberries are less likely to raise your blood sugar levels than bananas or watermelon.
  • When it comes to vegetables, green is better than white. For example, lettuce, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts are lower in starches than white potatoes. Research indicates that starchy foods can lead to cavities.
  • Watch out for fruit and vegetable juices, which are often packed with added sugar or sodium. It’s almost always better to eat the item in its natural state. For example, eating an apple is better than drinking apple juice.

Some Other Tooth-Smart Diet Tips

Round out your nutritional game plan by following these added recommendations:

  • Choose whole grains over refined products such as white bread or rolls.
  • Drink plenty of water. No beverage will benefit you more. Avoid regular sodas and so-called “energy drinks,” which are loaded with sugar and are high in acid content.
  • Top off meals with a healthy dessert such as fresh berries instead of a slice of cake or cookies. That way you get all of the sweetness without the unnecessary fat and processed sugar.
  • Chew sugar-free gum. Not only does this reduce hunger pangs, it stimulates saliva production, helping to keep your teeth clean.

Make 2019 your year to enjoy not only a slimmer waist but healthier teeth and gums. The benefits you’ll receive will give you plenty of reason to smile all year long.

About the Author

Dr. Samantha Amaro’s background includes degrees in biomedicine and education as well as dentistry. She enjoys keeping her patients updated on the latest health advances and insights. You can reach her office online or by calling 416-285-4545.