America is officially a fast food nation; the passion for dining-out helps fuel annual expenditures of $632 billion. Some individuals opt to eat-out or grab take-out food for convenience while others simply prefer restaurant grade food to their own cooking, either way the trend is being linked to a myriad of health issues including obesity and dental problems.
Estimates suggest that there are over 970,000 dining establishments in the nation and while some of those options focus in on organic foods, farm to table meals and even catering to vegetarians, the bulk of eating establishments targets Americans addiction to highly processed foods, sodas, meat and snacks. In regards to the latter, many of those dishes are actually created in laboratory settings and are stripped of healthy elements (such as whole grain and fiber) and instead are pumped full of additives including salt, sugar, corn syrup and MSG and preservatives.
While those meals may indeed be tasty, research has cited those additives in foods as major contributors impacting the nation's health. Processed foods have been linked to a myriad of health issues including obesity, tooth decay, diabetes and cancer. Despite the risks associated with the lack of nutrients associated with take-out, the American lifestyle still requires eating on the run. That is why 1800Dentist.com wanted to share some ideas regarding the best take-out for dental health.
Ever since the first Neapolitan style pizza was created and consumed in 1889, the food has come to dominate the world. Estimates suggest that worldwide, pizza places account for 17 percent of all restaurants. Americans wolf down 350 slices of the stuff every second. Fortunately, pizza is actually one fast food that can pack a powerful nutritional punch and help individuals ward of dental problems.
Not all pizzas are created equally and simply ordering a cheesy concoction spotted during the last commercial break is not advised. There is no denying while television pizza may look tasty, the big brains on Madison Avenue invested an excess of money, food styling and thought into luring consumers to buy those food items so companies can profit.
That is why individuals are encouraged to think first an either order (or make) a great pizza with the proper nutrition and ingredients for life. The best pizza for dental health will start with a thin crust made with whole grains as that ingredient has been shown to improve oral health, dental care and even lower occurrences of periodontitis. The pie should also feature a wholesome tomato sauce as that fruit is high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and cooked tomatoes deliver lycopene, a natural chemical scientifically shown to be a natural cancer fighter. Using a mix of low fat mozzarella accented with a bit of quality Parmesan will help deliver some dairy and a lot of flavor. Then topping off that masterpiece with veggie toppings such as onions, garlic, broccoli, spinach and artichoke will help deliver more vegetables. Since slices can be folded and eaten on the run, the right choice can provide a health on the run.
Americans have a love affair with hamburgers, over 13 billion of them are consumed annually. While some individuals get their fix with a beer at their local pub or a friends BBQ, countless folks rely on getting their burgers from fast food chains such as McDonald's, Wendy's and Burger King. Eating those foods as an occasional treat and as part of a diet more aligned to the Government's Nutrition Plate is fine, but for individuals who rely on these types of restaurants, alternating with the vegetarian option (typically not on the regular menu) can be a life saver.
For example, say your lifestyle brings you to McDonald's four times a week for a Quarter Pounder with Cheese. That baby is 520 calories and features 26gm of fat. The burger is served on a processed white flour bun. On the other hand, the McVeggie Sandwich including cheese (a soy-based veggie patty) is served on a whole-wheat bun and contains 410 calories and around 8gm of fat. By making that swap, individuals can get a more powerful nutritional punch and ultimately shave 22,880 calories (and around 6.5 pounds) from their annual diet.
In order to make the most out of a fast-food burger meal, individuals are also encouraged to skip the soda and sip water instead. That swap can help save money (soda can cost approximately $4 to $8 a gallon for an approximate annual savings amount ranging from $800 to $1,200) and boost dental health. Plus, swapping french fries for a side of apple slices will shave even more calories while providing an extra serving of fruit.
The United States is known as a melting pot of cultures courtesy of the nations long history of being a land of promise for immigrants. It is for that reason that local menus are teaming with a variety of food including Thai, Japanese and Mexican and for many, no Sunday night is complete without their order of Chinese delivery.
The wrong (but delicious) Chinese food such as fried egg rolls, noodle dishes and breaded chicken is going to be high in calories and sodium. The very first step to ensuring the best take-out option is ordered is to avoid any dishes that use the words "fried" or "crispy" in their descriptions.
After that, there are countless options that can provide a quick but healthy meal. Individuals should first focus on the lean protein of their choice (such as hard pressed tofu, shrimp, chicken or beef) and then make sure their dish is heavy on veggies including (but not limited to) broccoli, bok choy, carrots and onions. We all know that getting those options steamed will be bland, so instead request "no oil" and the kitchen staff will do their best to oblige. Additionally, choosing brown rice (over white) is smarter as it will help diners get their fix of daily whole grains and fiber.
No matter how many healthy take-out meals are consumed, additional steps are needed to gain dental health. That process includes practicing daily oral hygiene to remove stray food particles and dental plaque and getting professional dental care from a dentist. Individuals looking to find a dentist can call 1-800-DENTIST, 24/7 to get the contact of a great provider close to home.