Summer vacation may seem like a tough time to practice healthy eating, but keeping up good habits can be done while you’re away from home, and it’ll benefit your entire body, including your teeth.
According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, the typical American diet exceeds recommended levels in four categories: calories from solid fats and added sugars, refined grains, sodium and saturated fat. Summer is a great time to cut down on those numbers, whether you’re doing a staycation in St. Petersburg or you’re hitting the road for a family adventure.
Here are five healthy eating tips you can use this summer:
Fill up on fruit
The summer is a great time to place an emphasis on eating fruit since so many delicious varieties are in season. Fruits are packed with nutrients, which can act as an anti-inflammatory and help prevent chronic diseases. Turn your cookie jar into a fruit basket, making it easy for everyone to grab a healthy snack, or visit a local farmers market on your travels to stock up.
Fire up the grill
What’s summer without a cookout? You can make sure that you maintain your healthy eating plan by grilling lean meats and vegetables. Fish, skinless chicken and turkey burgers are healthy protein options, and asparagus, peppers and corn are great veggie choices. Stay away from store-bought sides like potato or macaroni salad, however.
Keep cool with water
Beat the heat by staying hydrated, and there’s no better healthy option than water. Making water a staple of your diet is a great way to keep your body refreshed, and you can avoid drinking sugary beverages like sodas and juices. Give your water a little extra touch by adding a lemon, lime or watermelon slice.
Take half home
Dining out can often be dangerous when trying to maintain a healthy mindset. But making the right choices on the menu, like avoiding fried foods, can keep you on track. Also, watch your portion control by requesting a to-go box as soon as you receive your order. That way you can take half home and not overeat in one sitting.
Low-fat cheese can be a great snack and something you can eat on the go, whether you’re at one of St. Petersburg’s many beaches, watching the Rays play or in the car. Filled with a host of healthy nutrients, cheese is a protein-packed treat that will satisfy just about anyone.
Eating cheese has also been shown to have benefits for your teeth. The American Dental Association (ADA) says that the high calcium levels in cheese help prevent cavities, and a study published in General Dentistry magazine suggests that compounds in the food can adhere to tooth enamel and help protect teeth from acid.