Eight Food Swaps You Should Make this Holiday Season

‘Tis the season of indulgence. Sweet treats are everywhere – and temptation is rife. So this holiday season, here’s a few tips to protect your heart, your teeth and your waistline from the festive onslaught!

  1. Exchange candy canes for fruit and cheese skewers…let the kids cut thick slices of melon, apple, pear and cheese into fun shapes, then skewer on a stick. Fun, tasty and healthy!
  2. Swap cheese straws for breadsticks or popcorn. If you fancy a quick snack, think twice before choosing the cheese straws…these are laden with almost a third of your day’s recommended saturated fat in just one straw!
  3. Trade chips and dips for veggies and hummus. Or try making your own creamy dip with low fat sour cream mixed with a packaged dried soup mix. Yummy!
  4. Opt for hot apple cider instead of eggnog, if you want a sweet and festive thirst quencher. Apple cider does contain sugar of course, but it’s natural and certainly nowhere near the 20 grams of sugar (almost all your daily allowance) you’ll find in just one glass of eggnog.
  5. Forgo the holiday fruitcake and break out the homemade banana bread (add mixed spice for a holiday feel). ‘Fruit’ in the name is deceptive – you’ll be surprised how much sugar and butter is lurking in each slice. You could be looking at 400 calories instead of just 120 in a slice of banana bread.
  6. Can the candy apples for dessert in favour of a low fat apple crisp. You’ll be avoiding the sugar-laden, chewy toffee that sticks to your teeth, but you’ll still be in for a sweet treat!
  7. Leave out the creamy liqueurs and plump for a straight martini over ice instead (over-19’s only of course!). At around 120 calories per shot in most creamy alcoholic treats, you can halve that by opting for a gin or vodka instead.
  8. Pick a handful of cashews or brazils over peanut brittle any day. Sugar, syrup and more sugar, with a few nuts thrown in, will give the sugar-hungry bacteria in your mouth a field day. On the other hand, unadorned nuts are thought to protect tooth enamel.

If you just can’t resist a festive favourite, have a small portion. If it’s sticky or chewy, be sure to floss and brush your teeth thoroughly straight afterwards. The importance of a good electric toothbrush is paramount at this time of year too, to make sure there’s no residual food debris for bacteria to take hold.

Don’t forget too, that if you do suspect a cavity, chip a tooth or experience any dental pain, you shouldn’t put off a trip to the dentist. At Oakville Dental Offices, we’ll not only be ready to treat any emergency situation, but we are available for routine appointments too. Happy holidays, fellow Oakvillians!

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