Taking a spoonful of National Parfait Day
SUMMARY: Monday, Nov. 25 is National Parfait Day. Discover how to top the perfect frozen concoction for your teeth.
Posted: November 20, 2013
Parfait Day, anyone? How does a delicious twist of frozen yogurt topped with fresh fruit sound? Well, lucky for us, Monday, Nov. 25 is National Parfait Day, so take a spoon and dig in.
In French, parfait literally means "perfect." To us, it means a cold dessert with layers of ice cream or frozen yogurt, fruit, whipped cream and syrup. Though these concoctions are far from perfect for your teeth, there are healthy alternatives to give you a taste of the sweet life without the cavities.
Parfaits are a great excuse to load up on delicious fruits. So, what are the healthiest options? Blueberries, hands-down. With more antioxidants than any other fruit, this super food is a parfait must. Throw some raspberries in the mix too. Not only are they low in sugar, calories and carbohydrates, but they're also one of the highest sources of fiber among fruits. Oranges on average provide 70 milligrams of vitamin C, which is about 78 percent to 93 percent of your daily requirement. To sweeten the deal, oranges and other vitamin C-rich foods create an inhospitable environment for the bacteria that triggers bad breath. Strawberries are also good for you, since they're packed with antioxidants. Plus, they're one of those fruits where if you close your eyes, you could swear you're eating a piece of candy.
Ice cream vs. frozen yogurt
The battle over frozen treats wages on. Many people pick a side and stick to it adamantly, yet few actually know the difference between the two. The main nutritional distinction is fat content. Both ice cream and frozen yogurt are made from dairy, but in order for a frozen treat to be labeled ice cream, it has to contain at least 10 percent milkfat. On the other hand, frozen yogurt does not have to meet this fat requirement. Instead, it is made with cultured milk, such as yogurt. Yogurt may also contain high levels of healthy probiotics.
If you're comparing 100 grams of chocolate ice cream and frozen yogurt, the first will contain roughly 216 calories while the latter has 159. On sugar levels, ice cream has only about one gram more than yogurt.
The health winner goes to: frozen yogurt. Opt for low-fat if you can.
Syrup and whipped cream
As tasty as these toppings are at the time, they're expendable. More often than not, they're delicious when you're eating them. Then 10 minutes later, you're trying to scrape the fudge off your molars. Syrup is pure sugar, which is a main cause of cavities. Steer clear of syrup saturation - your teeth won't miss it.
Sometimes our teeth become sensitive when we eat a spoonful of ice cream. Brain freeze is one thing, tooth sensitivity is another. It is caused by the movement of fluid within tiny tubes in the dentin, or the layer of tissue in the tooth found beneath the hard enamel. As a result, you feel nerve irritation while eating cold foods. Believe it or not, tooth sensitivity is one of the most common complaints among dental patients, with at least 40 million individuals afflicted with it in U.S. Ice cream can be a prime instigator of sensitive teeth, since its cold temperatures may bother the nerve. Talk to your dentist if tooth sensitivity continues for more than three of four days and your teeth react to hot and cold temperatures.
Take your crush on a date for parfait. Grab a cup after a workout reward. Whichever way you decide to eat it, remember to load fruits on your perfect frozen mix - especially those high in antioxidants and vitamin C, which helps get rid of bad breath.