April is National Oral Health Month and I felt it was a great opportunity to celebrate Canada’s new Food Guide, the first re-write since 2007! The foods we choose to eat and how often we eat them have a profound impact on our overall health. Nutrient-rich foods support good oral health and help fight infection and disease. We all know that sugar-filled pop and processed foods contribute to cavities and gum disease but it can be hard to know what to eat! That’s why I’ve read through Canada’s Food Guide and have some suggestions to help you create a balanced diet.
Healthy Eating Recommendations
Health Canada has some excellent online resources with tips and recipes based on the new Food Guide. They also emphasize that healthy eating is more than just the food we eat!
I recommend practicing mindful eating, cook
at home whenever possible, eat meals with friends and family, and don’t forget
to enjoy your food. Taking the time to plan a meal and involving others in
preparing and eating is a great way to connect with people.
It’s also important to eat a variety of foods each day! One of the biggest changes to the new Food Guide is to choose protein foods that are plant-based. The idea is to avoid saturated fats found in animal products. Medical News Today lists the best plant-based proteins as: tofu, edamame beans, lentils, chickpeas, peanuts, almonds, quinoa, and dark leafy green vegetables among others.
I’m also very pleased to see how the Food
Guide emphasizes replacing juice and other sugary drinks with water, as we know
that these drinks can cause cavities.
But don’t forget your about calcium! Dairy products no longer have their own group in the new Food Guide and have been included in the “protein” section. Calcium is essential for the development of bones and teeth but is not easily absorbed from plant-based proteins like tofu or beans. So, don’t forget to add sources of calcium and vitamin D to your day, either from supplements or milk products like cheese and yogurt!
Connecting Oral Health to Overall Health
Not only is good oral health critical for healthy teeth and gums, it also lowers your risk of bigger diseases. Diabetes is a disease that affects your entire body, and modifying your diet is often a key step in managing blood sugar. Oral inflammation can also play a role in clogged arteries and blood clots. The Heart and Stroke Foundation reports that 80% of premature heart disease and stroke can be prevented through lifestyle changes, including following Canada’s Food Guide!
Our team at Horizon Dental is dedicated to helping people achieve optimal oral health. We are excited to be accepting new patients,You can contact us by clicking here!