March is National Nutrition Month
National Nutrition Month is a nutrition education and information campaign sponsored annually by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign is designed to focus attention on the importance of making informed food choices and making both healthy eating and physical activity habits.
We are talking to our patients this month about food choices for overall health – which includes optimal oral health.
Dietitians, medical doctors and dentists alike agree that balancing meals and reducing sugar intake leads to generally improved health , which starts with improved oral health. Here are some points we discussing with our patients this month:
- Vitamins, minerals and foods with balanced ph and reduced sugar will prevent periodontal disease, dental decay and the decline of oral health.
- A properly functioning dentition can optimize which fresh fruits and vegetables a patient is able to chew and enjoy without pain.
- Discussing liquid sugar intake is a big part of reducing dental decay AND choosing a healthier diet plan.
- Americans eat about 20 teaspoons of sugar a day according to a report from the 2005–10 NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) database. The highest recommended amount for anyone is 6 teaspoons.
- Teens and men consume the most added sugars. Average daily consumption for men: 335 calories, women: 230 calories, boys: 362 calories, girls: 282 calories. or 100 calories per day of discretionary sugar intake.
At DSM, we feel that sharing information about general health with patients can help them choose a healthy lifestyle, prevent oral and general health disease. These are some references which we think are helpful.
American Dietetic Association Complete Food and Nutrition Guide, 4th Edition by Roberta Larson Duyff, MS, RD, FADA, CFCS. Wiley, 2012.
Includes the most up-to-date Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Offers quick access to timely advice on a multitude of food and nutrition topics. Includes chapters on food for fitness, healthy weight, vegetarian eating and nutrition for every stage of life.
Grocery Makeover: Small Changes for Big Results by Julie Feldman, MPH, RD. Spry Publishing LLC, 2013.
Although there are thousands of foods available on grocery shelves, we seem to buy the same items every week. This book is loaded with charts of nutrient content for common grocery-list foods, as well as substitution suggestions to make meals more nutritious.