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The milk factor in healthy teeth

The milk factor in healthy teeth
Anonymous

All parents want their children to have beautiful smiles… showing off healthy teeth. It’s a sense of achievement to know they have raised healthy and happy children. And good dental health means looking after your teeth to prevent tooth decay and gum disease.

MOST parents are aware that one of the ways to keep teeth healthy is by brushing regularly but what many are not aware of is the important role diet can play in good dental health. As the saying goes “we are what we eat”.

Adequate nutrition, particularly during the early years, is important for tooth development, eruption and maintenance, as well as for salivary gland function.

Many mothers are not aware that most of a child’s teeth are already formed by the time the baby is born. So it is essential for pregnant mothers to get enough of the required nutrients, especially calcium. This can be obtained from drinking milk or taking calcium supplements.

Young children also need lots of calcium to support the continuing growth of their jawbones and permanent teeth. How is calcium contributing to strong teeth? First, as the teeth form and mineralise, they need adequate calcium and phosphorus to form a hard structure. This takes place over a long period of time. Having an adequate amount of calcium and phosphorus during growth is critical for healthy teeth.

Recent research indicates that mothers’ food choices, by influencing their children’s dietary habits, impact the eruption of primary teeth during the first three years of life and future development of dental caries.

Second, calcium makes jawbones strong and healthy too. Jawbones need to be strong as they hold the teeth in place. There is no denying that milk is a good source of calcium and this is why milk plays an important role in building healthy teeth.

Other than calcium and phosphorus, milk also contains vitamins A and D. vitamin A is important for maintaining the mucous membranes of the mouth and Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption for healthy bones, teeth and growth of the jaws.

Choosing the right food for children helps strengthen their teeth but giving the wrong food too often will affect their dental health. Most parents can easily relate sugary foods to tooth decay. The decay process begins when the bacteria in the mouth breaks down components of saliva. These components adhere to tooth enamel. This is the start of dental plaque.

Dental plaque is a clear, gelatinous material that allows bacteria to remain on the teeth. If dental plaque is not removed frequently (at least once a day) by proper brushing and flossing, the plaque becomes tightly attached to the tooth and only mechanical cleaning can remove it.

This is why frequent visits to a dentist and regular, thorough cleaning by a dental hygienist is very important. Inside this dental plaque, the bacteria ferment dietary carbohydrates for a food source. This fermentation produces lactic and other acids. These acids demineralise the tooth enamel.

As the tooth demineralises, bacteria move into the tooth, decay begins and a cavity is formed. Therefore, to reduce the risk of tooth decay, it is important to minimise sweet and sticky foods and drinks.

About the Author

www.medical-explorer.com


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Fats and carbohydrates – their place in your healthy

Fats and carbohydrates – their place in your healthy diet
Zaak OConan

Lately it would seem that fats and carbohydrates have both gotten a bad rap. First it was fat that was the culprit in all dietary ills, and low fat diets were all the rage. Then the two switched places, with carbohydrates being the bad guys and fat reigning supreme.

As with most extremes, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. There is no such thing as a bad food, only bad dietary choices. While some foods are naturally better for you than others, there is no reason that all foods cannot be enjoyed in moderation. After all, the most successful diet is not one that you can follow for a day, a week or even a year. On the contrary, the only successful diet and nutrition program is one that you will be able to follow for a lifetime.

Both fats and carbohydrates play an important role in nutrition, and both are important to a healthy diet. It would be impossible and unwise to eliminate all fat from the diet, since fat is important for the production of energy, and for carrying valuable fat soluble vitamins like vitamin D, vitamin E and vitamin K, throughout the body. In addition, fat plays a vital role in regulating various bodily functions.

Even though some fat is essential to a healthy body, too much fat can be harmful. Excessive levels of dietary fats have been implicated in heart disease, stroke, high cholesterol levels and even some cancers. Most nutritionists recommend limiting daily fat intake to less than 20% of calories, although taking that level lower than 10% is not recommended.

Of course not all fats are created equal, and some fats are more harmful than others. Saturated fats and trans fats are generally understood to be more harmful in the diet than polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. These lighter fats, like canola oil and olive oil, should form the basis of cooking a healthier diet.

Keeping saturated fats and trans fats to a minimum is important to a healthy diet. Trans fats, which are solid at room temperature, are most often found in highly processed foods like cookies, cakes and other baked goods. In addition, trans fats are often found in fried foods and in salty snacks like potato chips. While these foods are fine in moderation, it is best to avoid large quantities of such snacks.

One additional word here about good fats – yes there are such things, and one of the most powerful of these are the so called omega-3 fatty acids. These fats are most often found in fish, and they have shown great promise in preventing and even reversing heart disease and high cholesterol levels.

When limiting your daily intake of fat and cholesterol, it is good to have an understanding of nutritional labels. These government mandated labels can be a huge help to those who take the time to read and understand them. Not only do nutritional labels provide valuable information on calories, fat content and sodium, but they provide valuable information about the most important vitamins and minerals as well.

Like fats, carbohydrates are found in a variety of different foods, some healthier than other. For instance, both Twinkies and whole wheat bread are sources of carbohydrates, but while one can form the basis of a healthy diet, the other is best used as an occasional snack.

In addition to cereals and breads, carbohydrates are also present in fruits and vegetables and in milk and other dairy products. Carbohydrates and fats are both important to a healthy, varied diet.

As with many products, less is often more when it comes to choosing foods rich in carbohydrates. For instance, less refined whole grain bread is generally more nutritious than white bread which has gone through a greater amount of refining. That is because the refining process tends to reduce nutrient content over time.

Of course, there are some elements in the diet that should be limited. Two of these elements are sugar and salt. Most Americans consume too much salt and sugar, and this has led to epidemics of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other ills. Limiting sugar and salt, while choosing good fats and unrefined carbohydrates, is a great way to maximize the nutritional value of the foods you eat.
About the Author

Zaak O’Conan discovers and presents useful information on how to enhance and/or repair your life, body and relationships. You’ll find his other articles on eating better and other ways how to improve your life at http://your-health-center.com


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Do you eat a wide variety of foods for

Do you eat a wide variety of foods for a healthy diet?
Zaak OConan

One of the most frequently cited reasons that diets and attempts at healthy eating fail is boredom. Many people simply do not know how to keep a healthy diet interesting day after day, and it can be quite a challenge.

Given the huge variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, meats and other healthy foods at the local grocery store, however, it is definitely possible to create exciting, nutritious meals that will keep boredom at bay.

Your key to healthy eating
The key to the success of any plan for healthy eating is to eat what you like, but to exercise moderation when it comes to the less healthy foods. Improving your level of health and fitness does not mean forgoing that piece of chocolate cake, for instance. It does mean, however, limiting yourself to one piece. A healthy diet contains all types of foods, including carbohydrates, proteins, and even fats. The key is choosing foods that provide the best combination of taste and nutrition. After all, if your diet consists of foods you hate, you will not stick with it.

The revised USDA food pyramid contains five major food groups – grains, vegetables, fruits, milk and dairy, and meat and beans. When choosing foods from these groups, it is important to eat a wide variety of foods from every food group. Doing so will not only give you a great deal of variety and keep boredom from setting in, but it will provide the best nutritional balance as well. In addition the widely known macronutrients, such as vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin C, etc. all foods contain a variety of micronutrients. Though present in extremely tiny amounts, they are vitally important to good health. That is why a healthy, varied diet is so important.

In addition, when choosing foods from within the various food groups, some choices are naturally better and healthier than others. For instance, choosing skim or 2% milk instead of full fat whole milk is a good way to cut down on both fat and calories. And choosing poultry or lean meat is a great way to get the protein you need every day without extra fat, cholesterol and calories.

Likewise cereals and breads that carry the whole grain label are healthier than those who do not. Even in the world of fruits and vegetables some choices are better than others. For instance, peaches packed in heavy syrup add unnecessary sugar to the diet, while those packed in water or juice provide only good nutrition.

There has been a trend lately to add vitamin fortification to food, and this can sometimes be a good way to maximize nutrition. It is important to remember, however, that proper nutrition comes from a healthy diet, not from vitamin supplements. It is fine to buy calcium fortified cereal, but the bulk of your calcium intake should still come from milk, dairy products and green leafy veggies.

Choosing the best foods
Knowing the five major food groups and how much of each to eat every day is only part of the picture. The other part is choosing the best foods from within those food groups. That means things like choosing the leanest cuts of meat, using egg substitutes instead of whole eggs, choosing the freshest fruits and vegetables, etc.

Even with fruits and vegetables, some choices are better than others. Some fruits, such as avocados, for instance, are packed with fat and calories. It is important to check the nutritional qualities of the fruits and vegetables you buy, and not simply assume that all fruits and vegetables are equally healthy.

One way to maximize nutrition while minimizing cost is to buy fruits and vegetables that are in season. Fruits and vegetables that are in season are usually quite a bit cheaper than those that must be shipped hundreds or even thousands of miles, and they are generally much fresher too. Of course, depending on where you live, there may be varieties of fruits and vegetables that are not available locally, so the northerner in search of citrus fruits will just have to watch the sales and buy accordingly.
About the Author

Zaak O’Conan discovers and presents useful information on how to enhance and/or repair your life, body and relationships. You’ll find his other articles on eating better and other ways how to improve your life at http://your-health-center.com


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Advice on choosing health food and healthy foods and

Advice on choosing health food and healthy foods and reading nutrition labels
Chris Robertson

Health food doesn’t need a definition, does it? We all know what
health food is it’s yogurt and granola, whole-grain cereal and
organically grown vegetables and fruit. It’s 100% natural, no
preservatives or dyes, unadulterated, pure. When you put all
that together, you should have healthy food, yet all too often,
what’s marketed as health food these days barely classifies as
food, let alone health food.

Take a look at one of our favorite health food choices – yogurt.
It hit supermarket shelves in the early seventies, though it had
been available before that in health food stores and
restaurants. Real yogurt has two ingredients: milk (whole, skim
or low fat) and live yogurt cultures. That’s health food –
calcium, vitamin D, vitamin A, protein. Next time you’re at the
supermarket, take a look at the dairy case. You’ll find row
after row of hyper-sweetened brightly colored rainbow swirled
and candy-sprinkled yogurt packaged in ways that appeal to our
littlest consumers – children. Millions of parents buy the
enticing packages, secure that because it’s yogurt, they’re
buying food that’s healthy for their children.

One look at the label, though, and it’s clear that these kiddy
yogurts (as well as most of the yogurt that’s marketed to
adults) are a far cry from heath food. Some of the most popular
yogurts for children contain anywhere from 3 to 10 added
teaspoons of sugar. Considering how many teaspoons of yogurt are
in a single serving, you might as well hand your child the sugar
bowl. In addition, most yogurts include “natural” ingredients
that have little to do with health food. Ingredients like pectin
(to thicken yogurt), carrageenan (a seafood extract that gives
some yogurts their body, and annatto (for color) add little
nutritionally to yogurt. They’re in the mix to serve one main
purpose: to help yogurt survive its trip from the factory to
your table.

You’ll find the same situation with other foods that originally
made their debut as health foods in the seventies. Granola has
become granola bars with chocolate chips and gooey caramel.
Whole wheat flour is bleached and denuded of its flavorful
kernels. Sunflower seeds are roasted in oil and salted. Even
brown rice comes in the instant variety.

Healthy food not health food

The secret to feeding your family (and yourself) a healthful
diet of healthy food is to read the labels. The United States
Food & Drug Administration has laid out strict guidelines for
nutritional labeling of all food products. The nutrition label
will tell you all you need to know to choose real health foods.
Some things to keep in mind when reading nutrition labels for
health foods:

* In the ingredient’s portion of the nutrition label,
ingredients are listed in order by amount. The ingredient that’s
listed first is the main ingredient, followed by the next
largest amount, etc.

* The nutrition facts label must list each of the required
nutrients even if the food provides 0% of the recommended daily
value.

* The nutrition facts label must list what portion of the food’s
calories is derived from fat, from sugar, from protein and from
carbohydrates. It will also break down the fat into saturated
and unsaturated fat.

Reading labels on everything you feed your family is the best
way to tell whether a food is really a health food – or just
masquerading as one.

About the author:

Chris Robertson is an author of Majon
International
, one of the worlds MOST popular internet marketing companies on
the web. Visit this Food Website
and Majon’s Food
directory.


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