News from the 2015 AAOSH Meeting: Part 2 – Nutrition

Posted on by Jen McGuire | Category Total Health

nutrition_soup foodsThe American Academy for Oral Systemic Health (AAOSH) recently gathered dental and medical professionals for their 2015 meeting which focused considerable attention on the power of diet and nutrition in chronic disease prevention. Dentists learned about diet changes that can help patients reduce inflammation and chronic disease risk. It is estimated that 60% of diabetes alone can be prevented with lifestyle changes.

“Food is fuel; fill up on premium.”
-Molly Wangsgaard, Cooper Clinic

At the AAOSH meeting, Molly Wangsgaard outlined 3 diets for reducing risk of heart disease, cancer, and inflammation. Specifics details of each diet are available, but all three included the instruction to eat more, or mostly plants. In fact, for the average patient, simply recommending that they “exercise more and eat more fruits and vegetables” will go a long way towards improving health.

For diets specific to other diseases and conditions, reference this report recommended by Molly and the Cooper Clinic team. According to experts, your personal diet should take into account your current health status and your personal taste, or your ability to adhere to that diet.

Molly also shared these common food myths you may need to address with patients.

1. All processed foods are bad.
Some processed foods do contain harmful additives (avoid sodium nitrate found in processed meats and food dyes that have been banned in Europe), but not all additives are harmful. Additives extend the shelf life of our food, considerably reducing our food costs. Processing foods is often done to improve nutrient content through fortification of essential vitamins and minerals such as folate, calcium and iron.

2. Coconut oil is a cure all for weight loss and health.
There are no proven weight loss benefits to coconut oil. Limited research has shown coconut may help raise HDL cholesterol, but it raises LDL too. It is also very high in saturated fat.

3. “Natural” is healthy.
While people often assume that “natural” or “all natural” foods are healthy, minimally processed, and do not contain any additives or artificial ingredients, in the US, the term means nothing. The FDA has NO specific rules for “natural” labeling.

4. Glycemic index is critical to food choice.
Rarely are foods consumed individually, making total glycemic load more relevant as a diet tool than the glycemic index of individual foods.

To learn more about nutrition counseling  visit

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