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What And How We Eat Impacts Our Overall Health Including Oral Health

Isn’t it true that the human body is the most complex machine on the planet? The food we take not only functions as a fuel but also serves as an essential lubricant for the smooth functioning of this machine. What we consume and in what quantity determines our general health and the health of our teeth, gums, and mouth.

Consuming too many sugar-loaded drinks, non-nutritional heavy carbohydrate foods like a sandwich packed with an egg and processed cheese, followed by a glass of juice and a sugary donut might sound tempting but it is far from being healthy.

Food that is filled with sugar and carbohydrates could risk tooth decay, damage essential bacteria, weaken your immune system, cause chronic inflammatory issues and possibly could permanently affect levels of bacteria and acids in your mouth, putting your body at a greater risk of gum and oral diseases.

So what should you eat? Which is the best diet for your dental and general health? Do you need to stop eating sugar and carbohydrates completely?

Well! Hold on for a moment. Relax and take a deep breath! You don’t have to be overwhelmed with so much information. After all, eating nutritional and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is not rocket science.

So let’s break this to step by step:

General Recommended Nutritional Guidelines;

Your nutritional needs depend on your age, gender, level of physical activities and some other factors. Based on the above, calorie requirements differ from person to person. Regardless, one should include the following for a balanced and healthy diet.
-Fresh Fruits & Vegetables
-Whole grains like oatmeals, brown rice, etc.
-Low Fat Dairy
-Lean protein

Which Food Is Bad For Your Oral Health?

-Acidic foods like citrus fruits, tomatoes, etc. could affect tooth enamel. Thus these should be consumed as a part of a meal and not just by themselves.

– Sugary drinks like soda, lemonade, coffee, juices, etc. are harmful as they cause sugar bath over teeth, and promotes tooth decay.

– Empty calorie food like sweet candies, cookies, cakes, muffins, chips should be avoided. There care called empty calories not because they have zero calories but have no nutritional value. Moreover, these food are high on bad sugar.

Which Food Is Good For Your Oral Health?

-Healthy dairy products like cheese, milk, cottage cheese, yogurt, etc., which are high in calcium and other nutrients.

-Fresh fruits & vegetables are rich in fiber, minerals, and water.

-Water, especially fluoridated water.

-Protein-rich food like meat, fish, eggs, lentils, etc. as they are also a good source of phosphorus, important for protecting and rebuilding tooth enamel.

Does everyone need the same diet?

The answer is simply NO. Diet needs to be customized according to the person’s background, lifestyle, work, gender, taste, and goals.

Here are a few basic diets for you to consider. I encourage everyone to read and research more about each, and than conclude which suits them the best, depending on their various requirements.

  • Mediterranean Diet: As the word suggests, this diet is based on the food which people used to consume in 1960 from the Mediterranean region like Italy, and Greece. It includes eating a high level of fruits, vegetables, cereals, eggs, nuts, legumes. Moderate level of fish, poultry, cheese, yogurt and low level of red meat. One should avoid processed food, bad fat and sugar-sweetened drinks.
  • Paleo diet: This diet basically consists of lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Anything which our ancestors obtained by hunting or gathering. Which obviously means to avoid processed foods, sugar, soft drinks, grains, dairy, etc.
  • Ketogenic diet: To put it simply, it is a low carb and high-fat diet. The idea is to put the body into a high metabolic state by reducing carbs intake. This transforms the body into an efficient fat-burning machine for a certain dietary period.
  • Low-carbohydrate diet: In low carbohydrate, you must restrict the carbohydrate and sugar intake to avoid high insulin and high sugar levels in the body. This helps in improving beneficial gut bacteria.
  • Carnivore diet: This could be understood as an intense version of the Keto diet. It includes only animal foods like meat, fish, eggs, dairy and excludes everything else. Some studies suggest that this could aid the weight loss fuelled by the high protein intake.

Should You Stop Taking Sugar Completely?

No. Sugar has the reputation of being a bad wolf when it comes to health. Intaking it in an access amount can lead to several health issues and ailments but consuming natural sugar up to 10% of your daily calorie intake is of no harm.

You must avoid process food and drinks with added sugars, which are the main reasons for tooth decay and oral disease.

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