Healthier Versions of Your Favorite Summer Foods

Summer is a time for picnics, BBQ’s, and lot of ice cream. All of these things in moderation won’t be harmful to your teeth, but summertime makes it difficult to avoid unhealthy foods. Here are a few foods to substitute if you want to lower your sugar intake and eat to better control your diet.

  1. ICE CREAM – Substitute with Coconut Vanilla Ice Cream – Love eating ice cream in the hot weather? Try mixing unsweetened coconut milk and fresh vanilla bean for a delicious frozen treat. Instructions are here.
  2. S’MORES – You can still eat s’mores but you can replace the milk chocolate with dark chocolate (it has less sugar and is better for your health) and instead of marshmallow use cool whip topping or a fresh whipped topping. Fresh whipped topping is great because you can scale back on the sugar and you’re adding calcium to your snack.
  3. FRUIT JUICES – Substitute with fresh watermelon juice. Take chunks of watermelon and just put in a blender with ice. Watermelon is so sweet in the summer that it doesn’t need any extra added sugar
  4. BBQ SAUCE – BBQ is a staple food of the summer for many, but BBQ sauces contain a lot of sugar and sometimes even corn syrup. If you want BBQ, stick to a dry rub and use a lot of fresh herbs and spices. BBQ also sticks to your teeth so a dry rub will eliminate that problem.
  5. LEMONADE – If you want true lemonade, make it at home. The amount of sugar can be halved from most recipes and still taste delicious. Store-bought lemonade can contain high fructose corn syrup, which breaks down the enamel on your teeth and causes cavities. If you want it to be sweeter, add real honey by the teaspoonful until you find your desired sweetness level. If you’re okay with a lemon-flavored beverage, just add a squirt of lemon juice and a few mint leaves to seltzer water.
  6. FILLED PIE – Blueberry pie, cherry pie, and pecan pie are all very sticky and sugary. Store bought pies contain a very unhealthy amount of sugar and can stain your teeth if they contain dyes. Eat fruit tarts instead which keep the integrity of the fruit and don’t add sugar to turn the fruit into a jam.

For other healthy suggestions, try searching for sugar-free or healthier options of recipes online. Dr. Lorraine Burio of Candlewood Dental Care has been educating and treating patients for over twenty-five years. Call our New Fairfield, CT office at 203-746-1200 or make an appointment here.