First Choice Dental is a Madison dentist committed to your complete health. So we asked Madison's own holistic nutrition consultant Tracie Fountain, "What does 'healthy' really mean? And what should we think of as 'nutritious'?” Nutrition expert Tracie offered to share the following nutrition tips with you to put healthy smiles on your family's faces this summer.
A healthy smile begins with healthy eating habits.
Over the past 50 years, both the cost and quality of our food has dropped. Most of our food is processed and is often made primarily of corn, soy and wheat. Somewhere along the line, we stopped worrying too much about how nutritious our food was, where it came from, and amazingly, what was in it. So here’s a big scoop: if it lasts a long time on your shelf, then it’s a good bet it has additives, preservatives, dyes and other chemicals to keep it there. And if your food is really inexpensive, chances are it’s based on soy, corn or wheat—crops subsidized by tax dollars—and isn’t what our great-grandparents would have thought of as “real food.”
Two basic rules for healthful eating
- Eat what you know—if you don’t know what the ingredients are, don’t eat it!
- Eat whole, natural foods—if it wasn’t around over 100 years ago, don’t eat it!
Examples of natural, known foods are fresh fruits and vegetables, grass-fed meats, free-range eggs and what I call “clean” sources of dairy (products with as few ingredients as possible). Including dairy in your diet is a great way to take care of your smile as it provides a perfect ratio of calcium-to-phosphorus for the health of our bones and teeth.
When our bodies are in good condition—healthy—we burn fuel efficiently. The way we keep our bodies in good condition is by eating healthy foods (fuel). But if we’ve been putting things in our bodies that aren’t good for us (bad fuel), or we’ve been denying our bodies good fuel (often the equivalent of dieting), we aren’t just failing to be healthy in the moment, we are actually failing to take long-term care of our bodies, thereby putting ourselves on the path of system break down.
When our body needs fuel, our blood sugar drops, as feeling hungry is our body’s way of telling us we need food. Low blood sugar levels are actually very stressful to the body. If we are eating well-balanced, healthy, nourishing food in a timely manner, our blood sugar never drops to levels that are stressful to the body. Eating small, well-balanced snacks and meals throughout the day keeps blood sugar levels stable.
Healthy blood sugars = Healthy body = Healthy metabolism. And a healthy smile to boot!
Change your food, change your life. By following the two basic rules for healthful eating and balancing your blood sugar, you’ll be healthier and feel better, possibly better than you ever have in your life!
To help you get started, here are some quick and easy summer snack ideas to keep your blood sugar balanced so you can feel energetic and your very best throughout the day:
- 2 oz white cheese with a piece of fruit
- 10 oz glass of milk (not skim)
- 1 hardboiled egg and ½ cup carrot sticks
- ½ cup cottage cheese with carrot sticks and cucumber slices
- 2 oz summer sausage with a piece of fruit and carrot sticks
- 12–15 Crispy Nuts with a piece of fruit (only if this recipe is included from the cookbook)
- 6-7 oz plain Greek 2% yogurt with fruit or 1 T natural fruit spread
- 1 apple sliced and sprinkled with cinnamon plus 2 T raw walnuts
- 1 kiwi and 1 piece string cheese
Thanks, Tracie! For more info on how Tracie works with individuals and companies to change plates and change lives, visit Tracie Fountain Nutrition online at www.itsyourplate.com. See our Smile-Worthy Snack Recipes today!