At the end of the day, you want to relax. Everyone has their own favorite way of unwinding. Maybe you like to plop down on the couch and put your favorite show as soon as you get home. Maybe it’s a glass of wine after dinner. Here in Washington state, there’s even a certain recreational herb you’re able to indulge in if you like. And let’s not forget the ultimate cure-all for a bad day: rich, smooth, sweet chocolate.

Let’s focus on chocolate. We’ll level with you here as dentists, we do recommend that you eat chocolate in moderation.

However, as you probably know, chocolate is sticky and sugary and can give you cavities.

But as intelligent and rational human beings, we have to admit that chocolate is great. In fact, the word “great” doesn’t do justice to just how delicious chocolate is. It transcends the simple act of eating and enjoying a tasty snack. Chocolate makes life better as a whole. It’s as good a reason as any to get up out of bed in the morning.

It’s easy to say “stop eating chocolate”. It’s near impossible to actually follow through with that request. That’s why we don’t expect you to cut out chocolate entirely. It’s just too good. We do expect you, however, to moderate your chocolate consumption responsibly. Here are some alternatives that will help you cut down on chocolate:

1. Berries

Blackberries, blueberries and strawberries get all the berries you can! They’re near as sweet as chocolate and they offer many health benefits. In particular, they’re chock full of antioxidants, which protects you from free radicals that damage cells and contribute to the development of many serious complications, including cancer.

You’ll want to avoid dried berries though, as they are much higher in sugar than their fresh and frozen counterparts.

2. Apples

One a day keeps the doctor away, right? We’re going with the same principle that we used with berries her fruit allows you to satisfy your sweet tooth, and unlike chocolate you’ll actually get some nutrition out of the experience. Apples have antioxidants as well, and they also contain a fiber known as pectin, which will help you fight bad cholesterol.

3. Peanut Butter

OK, so peanut butter isn’t that good for you. But it’s got more protein and less sugar than chocolate, so if you’re ever deciding between peanut butter and chocolate, go with peanut butter!

4. Carrots

At this point, all we’ve gone over are fruits and peanut butter. Those foods aren’t chocolate, but they’re all still objectively tasty. It passes the kid test it won’t take much convincing to get kids to eat those foods.

Now, we’re going to get a little more difficult. Carrots are a good option for replacing chocolate. It may be hard to get the kids (and maybe even yourself) to eat veggies, but they are certainly healthy. If raw carrots aren’t sweet enough, trying heating them up. That way they’ll caramelize and their natural sugars will be unlocked.

Maybe it’s already too late, if you’ve indulged in a little too much in chocolate and now you’ve got cavities that need filling, give us a call at (509) 585-2500.