Getting skinny and fit is a goal for many Americans, and one celebrity fitness trainer says your diet may play a bigger role than your exercise level. Bob Harper, trainer on "The Biggest Loser" says that diet trumps exercise when it comes to weight loss. Similarly, your diet is a major factor in the health and wellbeing of your teeth and gums. Food and drink can cause damage to the teeth and gums as well as cause bad breath. Follow these tips and tricks to ensure that you are getting the utmost benefits from your daily diet:
"It is all about your diet," Harper told Reuters."I used to think a long time ago that you can beat everything you eat out of you and it's just absolutely not the case."
Water for soda
Soda is highly addictive: from the high level of sugar to the caffeine. Have you ever heard that if you stop drinking carbonated beverages for a month, you would lose ten pounds? With the loads of calories, fat and artificial substances, soda can be one of the worst parts of your diet. Begin by cutting out soda and replacing it with water during meals. Water fills you up, leaving you with less room to eat unnecessary calories. At the same rate, drinking water with your meals will help to flush away particles of food that get stuck along the gum line and in small crevices, which cause bad breath.
Starch for whole grains
White bread, starchy crackers and white rice have never really been considered junk food, but these items are far from healthy. While these aren't considered a sweet treat, white bread and other starches break down to become sugar. Plus, starchy white bread is known for its sticky texture that can get trapped in the teeth. Then, as it's breaking down, it attracts anaerobic bacteria that wreak havoc on the gums, teeth and breath.
Fruits and vegetables
Fresh produce should be a staple in any balanced diet because these items contain a high amount of vitamins and low levels of fat and calories. And at the same time, fruits and vegetables contain water, which fills you up and hydrates you. We could go on for days about the health benefits of fruits and vegetables, but one of the other - and often overlooked - benefits is their role in a healthy mouth. Not only do fruits and veggies contain vitamins and antioxidants that battle the accumulation of anaerobic bacteria in the mouth, they can also get rid of dental plaque and freshen the breath.
Swap beer for wine
It's hard to say no when fitness and nutrition experts note the positive benefits of wine, but it's still best to moderate your intake. Instead of sipping on an ice cold brew, opt for a glass of wine, which has fewer calories and more antioxidants. Luckily, researchers believe that beer is similar in that a glass a day is OK, but it isn't as nice on your breath. But remember, drinking too much alcohol will simply dry out your mouth and cause bad breath. Follow up your alcoholic beverage of choice with a glass of water to moisten the mouth and rinse away bacteria.
To maintain a healthy body, pearly whites and strong gums, you need to be aware of the food and drinks you are consuming. Add heaping servings of fruits and vegetables to every meal, skip out on the sugar and stick to that single glass of red wine, and you'll be on your way to health and wellness.