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Oral Health Buzz

Foods Low in Sugar Are Better for Your Teeth

Eliza Martinez

Keeping teeth healthy, whether your own or your children's, relies on several factors. You know you should floss once a day, brush your teeth twice a day, and see your dentist regularly, but your diet also plays a role in the health of your teeth. Foods high in sugar are a particularly common cause of tooth decay. You needn't avoid them altogether, but making them a treat rather than a staple will help protect your teeth for years to come. Consider adding some foods low in sugar to your regular meal plan to increase both your family's general health and that of their teeth.

Fruits and Vegetables

Even though fruit contains some natural sugars, it is still a good choice for keeping your teeth healthy. Vegetables, moreover, are very low in sugar and should have a main role on your plate. Snack time can include apple slices dipped in a tablespoon of peanut butter. Top Greek yogurt with diced strawberries or enjoy a plate of fresh cut vegetables to snack on while waiting for dinner. Furthermore, make sure to include a fruit and a vegetable in your child's lunch box each day.

Meat

Fresh meats are a good source of many nutrients, but don't contain much sugar. This makes them an ideal choice for a low-sugar and healthy tooth diet. Add sliced chicken breast or grilled shrimp to a salad or bowl of vegetable soup for a simple, healthy meal. Put shredded chicken in steamed rice along with mixed vegetables, or enjoy leftover pork chops with a bit of barbecue sauce on bread for lunch. Sliced steak mixed into scrambled eggs is another good option.

Grains

Many grains are low in sugar and provide other health benefits. Stick with whole grains, which are more likely to be lower in sugar than processed grain foods. Make sandwiches with whole-wheat bread, switch out white pasta for whole-wheat, and sub brown rice for plain. If you're an adventurous eater, try quinoa, millet or barley where you'd usually use pasta or rice. These alternative grains are healthy and change up the flavors of your favorite meals. Try a whole-grain waffle spread with a bit of peanut butter and applesauce. Whole grain cereal for breakfast gives your day a great start. Pair it with low-fat milk and sliced berries, put it on plain yogurt, or eat it mixed with raisins and cashews.

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds make a healthy snack, and plain, roasted ones don't contain a lot of sugar. You do, however, want to stay away from any nuts that are coated in sugary seasonings. Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, peanuts, cashews, pecans, and walnuts are yummy and nutritious options. Mix them into a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast or a bag of popcorn for a tasty movie snack.

Learn more about foods low in sugar in the Colgate Oral Care resources.

Source: Flikr.com

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