Between work, errands, picking up the kids in the afternoon and shuttling them to after-school activities, it can be hard to find the time to prepare healthy meals every day. Sometimes, it’s just easier to microwave a TV dinner or let the kids snack on whatever they can find in the pantry. However, processed and pre-packaged foods are often high in salt, saturated fats and sugar, all of which can be harmful to one’s overall health, including oral health. If you want to pursue a healthy lifestyle in Los Alamitos and prevent cavities from forming, follow the cooking tips below from a local dentist.
#1: Steam Food to Lock in Nutrients
Steaming – cooking food in an enclosed environment filled with steam – is a healthier alternative to frying foods in a pan. Steaming preserves nutrients better than many other cooking methods and also seals in flavor, eliminating the need to use olive oil or other added fats during preparation. You can find plenty of affordable electric steamers on the shelves of your local department store or supermarket, or fashion a DIY steamer by placing food in a covered, perforated basket that sits atop a pot of boiling water. Try steaming chicken breasts along with vegetables like green beans or asparagus! Chicken meat is high in phosphorous, which is beneficial for tooth enamel.
#2: Use Substitutes
You do not have to sacrifice all your favorite foods in pursuit of a healthier lifestyle. Often, you can simply substitute a few key ingredients to reduce the sugar, salt or saturated fat content of a selected dish. Here are a few examples of healthy cooking substitutions:
- In place of oil, cook using stock, wine, lemon juice or vinegar.
- If a soup or sauce calls for cream, try substituting low-fat yogurt or low-fat milk instead. Milk and yogurt have contain calcium, which is good for your teeth.
- To avoid eating sugary foods that can contribute to tooth decay, look for recipes that utilize natural sweeteners such as honey or agave nectar.
#3: Go Raw!
There are plenty of raw foods that are healthy for your teeth and take almost no time to prepare! Many fruits and vegetables like apples, carrots and celery stimulate saliva production, which helps protect teeth by washing away food particles and harmful acids. Meanwhile, nuts and cheeses contain calcium, which helps rejuvenate enamel. While these foods may not make up an entire meal, trail mix with nuts, a cheese stick or even just an apple can be a healthy snack or part of a larger lunch.
Remember, you are what you eat! Preparing healthy meals will have a positive impact on your overall health, including your oral health. For more healthy eating tips that can benefit your smile, talk to a dentist in Los Alamitos today.
About the Author
Voted the Best Dentist in Los Alamitos in 2016, Dr. William Poe has provided quality oral care to patients for over 30 years and counting. From completing advanced cosmetic education courses at the prestigious Las Vegas Institute to achieving Fellowship status in the International College of Cranio-Mandibular Orthopedics, Dr. Poe is well-versed in every aspect of oral health. For more tips for a healthy smile, visit Dr. Poe’s website or call 562-594-5067.