Livonia dentist Dr. James Stewart is a comprehensive care dentist, meaning that he provides dental care of all kinds—cosmetic, restorative, general, preventive, sleep, TMJ, and more—to patients of all ages from across the greater Detroit area. Dr. Stewart also keeps up with the latest research conducted on the connection between oral and overall health. Because he sees so many patients with a variety of dental and health needs on a daily basis—in addition to scientific evidence—Dr. Stewart understands that oral and overall health are closely intertwined. He also recognizes that total wellness cannot be achieved only in the dental chair and, because of this, Dr. Stewart wants to discuss how eating better can help you smile better and lead a better life.
National Nutrition Month
The month of March is National Nutrition Month, hosted by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association). The theme of this year’s National Nutrition Month is “Get Your Plate in Shape,” and Dr. Stewart hopes you take the following nutritional information to heart to help yourself achieve optimal health.
Get Your Plate—and Your Health—in Shape
Over time, little daily changes become lifestyle changes, so Dr. Stewart has compiled a list of everyday eating tips that—if you continue them—can make a big difference.
- Fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables and pay attention to color and choosing lots of dark green, red, and orange vegetables, as well as beans and peas. Canned vegetables count, too. Just make sure to choose cans marked “reduced sodium” and “no-salt-added.”
- Make at least half of your grains whole by eating 100 percent whole grain bread, cereal, crackers, pasta, and brown rice. This information will be easily readable on food packaging to make your shopping trip a little easier.
- Switch to fat-free or low-fat milk to reap the benefits of whole milk (calcium included), but with less fat and calories. Calcium is one of the best things you can give your body, and your bones (and teeth) will thank you for keeping them healthy and strong.
- Vary your protein choices by eating plenty of different kinds of seafood, nuts, beans, lean meat, poultry, and eggs.
- Cut back on sodium and empty calories from solid fats and added sugars by drinking water instead of sugar-loaded beverages, eating dessert less often, and choosing 100 percent fruit juice instead of fruit-flavored drinks. Pay attention to the sodium (salt) in the food you buy, and make an effort to spice up food with herbs rather than salt. Also, select lean cuts of meat or poultry, switch from solid fats to oils when preparing food, and make major sources of saturated fats—like pizza and desserts—foods for special occasions.
- Enjoy your food, but pay attention to portion size by using a smaller utensils when eating, cooking at home rather than eating out, and writing down what you eat to keep track of what you put in your body.
- Be physically active in a way you love to get your heart moving, burn some calories, and—most importantly—maintain a healthy lifestyle.
When your body is healthy, your mouth is healthy, and when your mouth is healthy, your body is healthy. Keep this in mind and make good health choices, and your teeth will thank you by sticking around for life. If you need help, call (734) 425-4400 to reserve an appointment with Livonia, Michigan dentist Dr. Stewart.