There are several foods dressed up to appear healthy, when in fact many are unhealthy imposters, filled with sugars bad for your oral health! Sometimes, nutrition labels can even be misleading. For example, granola. Seemingly wholesome, granola and other energy bars, depending on their ingredients and proportions, can be as poor for your teeth as a plate of sweets! They often contains a good amount of fiber, protein and potassium. However, some recipes can include very high amounts of sugar and fructose corn syrup, which are tough on teeth. Although many delicious foods can be hard-to-resist, the health of your mouth and overall body depends on good nutrition. Poor nutrition can lead to tooth decay, periodontal disease, halitosis, and other oral health problems. Here are a few seemingly healthy foods that may not be so beneficial for your mouth and overall health after all:
Smoothies can be deceiving because they are packed with healthy fruits and vegetables. In reality, smoothies often contain an excessive amount of sugar, which can lead to tooth decay. Most restaurants sell large sizes combined with added ice cream, sugar, and other ingredients not the best for strong teeth. If craving a smoothie, consider making your own and pack them with healthy ingredients!
Bran muffins can be healthy, however, coffee shops and bakeries tend to increase the portion size, sugar, and sodium content. According to Joan Blake, author of Nutrition & You, a bran muffin can have more calories and sugar than a doughnut! One bran muffin typically contains 350 calories or more, before adding toppings such as butter or jam. Some bran muffins have even been found to contain 600mg of sodium, which is approximately one-third of the recommended day’s maximum!
Popcorn is a quick and easy snack, but full of high levels of sodium, fat, calories, and the chemical diacetyl. Diacetyl is a natural product that helps give artificial butter its flavor. It is linked to a chronic and even fatal lung condition called bronchiolitis obliterans. Kernels can also be easy to get lodged between teeth causing gum irritation. It is also important to watch out for uncooked kernels that can chip or crack teeth.
Similarly, frozen dinners can be misleading and advertised as a weight-loss alternative. Yet, many frozen dinners often contain high amounts of salt, sugar, and fat. Frozen dinners typically lack many essential vitamins and nutrients. Replace these meals with a home-cooked dish as a healthier alternative.
It’s hard to believe that a salad can be unhealthy. Be on the look out for prepared tuna salads, chicken salads, and salads loaded with high portions of dressings and mayonnaise. Although it depends on the portion size and ingredients, some salads can contain as many as 700 calories and 40 grams of fat. Opt for a bowl of healthy greens, with modest dressing and sugar content.
The label “fat-free” can sometimes lead us to believe the product is full of nutrients. Fat-free foods often have added sugar and flavor-enhancing sweeteners to make them taste better. Although there are many healthy fat-free foods, always check the nutrition labels to make sure you’re getting a nutritious product in addition to fat-free.
Luckily, some foods help increase saliva flow, which protects teeth from tooth decay by neutralizing acids in the mouth. To prevent tooth decay, regularly practice proper oral health habits and choose healthy food alternatives. Also, minimize snacking, as acids can stick around on teeth for a half-hour after food consumption. Research has shown that individuals who eat unhealthy snacks between meals have higher rates of decay than those who eat an equal amount of unhealthy treats along with their meals.
Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an appointment and consultation.
Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. Kim or Dr.Pradhan. Dr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.