Eating a well-balanced diet, including plenty of fruits and vegetables, can go a long way in reducing the risk of serious health concerns such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Yet according to the CDC, less than 10% of American adults are getting enough vegetables and only 12% are eating the recommended amount of fruits. This is one reason why the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics sponsors National Nutrition Month every March, and it’s an event also supported by your dentist in Chapel Hill. After all, nutrition doesn’t only affect whole-body health, it also affects oral health.
National Nutrition Month
The purpose of National Nutrition Month is to help raise awareness of how eating right can help fuel your body and protect your health. But is nutrition so complicated that it requires an entire 31 days and a whole awareness campaign? In short, yes, nutrition can be complicated, which may explain why many Americans don’t eat a well-balanced diet.
We know we should eat our vegetables. We know we should avoid high-fat foods. Yet many of us don’t get close to eating enough of what we should and eat more of what we shouldn’t. How can this be? Well, the truth is, nutrition is confusing. So much so that the Food Pyramid Guide from the United States Department of Agriculture has changed two times since it was originally created in 1992. Nutritional standards don’t fall into a one-size-fits-all recommendation, and food group intakes vary based on gender, age, height, weight, and activity level, among other things. This is where a site like MyPlate can help. Input your information and find your individual nutritional needs so you can start to find foods that fit your needs. Eating properly can help your body function well, protect your health, and, as your dentist in Chapel Hill knows, protect your smile.
Eat Well, Smile Well
Research shows a strong correlation between whole-body health and oral health. This connection extends to include what we eat. After all, those who eat a balanced diet are often healthier and also typically have better oral health. When choosing foods for you and your family, look to pick options that are both recommended in your MyPlate account and ones that can also help your smile. Some smile-friendly foods include:
When in doubt, pick foods that you know are good for your body. Chances are, they’re also good for your teeth.
A Note About Sugar
It’s no secret that your dentist in Chapel Hill doesn’t like sugar, but you should know that sweet treats packed with sugar aren’t only dangerous to your teeth, they can also put your overall health at risk. Sugar is a high-calorie food, and when consumed in large amounts it can cause weight gain and increase the risk of heart disease. However, it’s not only sweet foods that show a high sugar content on the label that are concerning. Foods that are high in carbohydrates can also affect your body and your teeth similarly to sugars. Try your best to limit the amount of sugar and carbohydrates in your diet.
Eating well is one of the best ways to protect your body from disease. It’s also one of the best ways to protect your teeth. So this National Nutrition Month, commit to finding your individual nutritional needs and stick to eating well.