Who doesn’t want to spend the holidays with loved ones, indulging in good food while creating great memories? Unfortunately, many holiday favorites are not only bad news for your waistline, they can also be bad for your oral health. Too much sugar can be especially problematic for teeth, potentially leading to cavities, gum disease, and other dental issues. To avoid developing dental problems over this sweet Christmas season, here are some easy swaps to consider making during your holiday planning. Without sacrificing taste, you can keep your smile healthy during this festive season and beyond; it just takes some smart choices, like those that have received your preventive dentist’s seal of approval.
What Can I Snack on Instead of Cookies?
Whether you’re hosting holiday soirees, or just attending them, there are plenty of healthier snack alternatives to the traditional cookie platter, or candies.
- Chopped veggies are a great option, and adding a nutritious dip like hummus or peanut butter can help create a balanced snack that will keep you full enough to more easily pass up tempting treats.
- Fruits are another good addition to your holiday buffet and can help satisfy even the sweetest of teeth.
- Just consider pairing fresh fruit with something filling, like a handful of nuts, or a no-sugar-added yogurt or cheese, which provides valuable nutrients like calcium and an added dose of protein, which helps satiate.
Is There an Alternative to Candied Yams?
Your cousins may love your candied yams or sweet potato casserole, complete with a bag of toasted marshmallows on top. But guess what? This year is a fine time to switch things up, to something healthier.
- Sweet potatoes are naturally sweet, while also being packed with nutrients.
- Play up their assets, by baking them with just a bit of cinnamon. Or, go a different direction with savory spices like paprika, cumin, and garlic.
- Either way, you might be surprised just how versatile sweet potatoes become when you let go of the notion that they – or their cousins, yams – need to be marshmallow-coated!
Does Eggnog Count as Healthy?
In short, no, eggnog is not considered a healthy option. In fact, many favorite holiday drinks are filled with empty calories and sugar, from seasoned lattes to cocoas. While a sweet drink is fine, on occasion, it shouldn’t make up the majority of your beverage intake.
- Keeping well-hydrated throughout the day is great for your oral and overall health, and it can also help keep you from accidentally having a second or third cup of sweetened coffee.
- If you are choosing a beverage other than water, go for one with little to no added sugar, and follow it up with a big glass of water, especially if it’s caffeinated or alcoholic, as those can dry your mouth out.