Healthy Alternatives to Soft Drinks, Sugar, Candy and Snacks That Don’t Hurt Your Teeth: Part 2

In our previous article we went over briefly some of the negative effects of soda, sugar, candy and junk snacks, and went over some basic replacements for them. In this article we will be going over more alternatives, and some foods that are considered “healthy” but are not really any better than traditional sweets.

Alternatives

One of these is fruit juice drinks. Apple juice, orange juice, cranberry juice and things of that nature would seem like they would be a lot healthier. But in reality some have even higher amounts of sugar than soda. The only advantage of juice is that some of them have Vitamins, mainly vitamin C and a few have potassium. As mentioned in our last article, iced teas and Gatorades will have the same issue. And the electrolytes that they are stated to have, are normally less than 4% of the amount you need a day.

The best thing to do is to check the nutrition facts. Some hot chocolates with real coco are fairly healthy, and some real fruit juices are at least better for you than soda. And sometimes, it is unrealistic to expect a completely sugar free and great tasting alternative. Sometimes you have to go with something that is only half as unhealthy.

Smoothies can be a very tasty replacement for shakes and sweet drinks, if you prepare it with fresh fruit, milk/yogurt, and maybe some veggies. But if you make them like Naked Smoothies make their drinks, you will end up with a lot of sugar, and a small number of vitamins. Bananas that are fresh are great for potassium, strawberries are good for taste, blueberries and pineapples and oranges can give you vitamin C, milk and yogurt will give you protein, carbs and something real in your smoothie.

Veggies like avocados are not the best tasting in combination with fruits, but they do have healthy fats in them. Another OK replacement for shakes/ice cream is low-fat pudding, which is surprisingly healthy when it comes to certain brands, as well as yogurt. Something to keep in mind however is that just because something is low-fat, doesn’t mean it is low in sugar. And for things that are low in sugar, that does not mean that they are low in fat.

Gum

While it will not give you calories, will curb your appetite for a small amount of time.

Sweet Potato Fries

Making sweet potato fries is a great alternative to junk food.

Dark Chocolate

If you are going to have candy, dark chocolate is the healthiest by far, but still something to have in moderation.

Kettle Corn

Unsalted and unbuttered kettle corn is actually OK to have as well in moderation.

Hopefully this helps you, as anything that is lower in sugar will have less of an effect on the decay of your teeth. Change doesn’t happen overnight. If you can just replace your candy with something else, or your soda with an alternative, or find a healthier snack, then you are on the right path to having healthier teeth and finding sustainable eating habits.

Posted in Nutrition.