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Healthy Beverage Choices
What you drink is just as important as what you eat.
Saint Alexius food and nutrition expert, Joan Nagel, shows us how to choose healthy drinks.
The 2010 Dietary Guidelines recommend reducing intake of solid fats and added sugars (empty calories).
Empty calories add calories to foods but few to no nutrients
Added sugars are syrups and sugars that are added when foods or beverages are processed or prepared (i.e. high fructose corn syrup, maltose, dextrose, fructose, sugar)
*Soda, energy drinks, and sports drinks account for about 36% of the added sugar people consume in their diets
*Studies have shown that poor diet and lack of physical activity could increase the risk for obesity, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and other related diseases, so it`s important to make good beverage choices
Comparing Sugary Beverages
*Soda: 1 can of Coke has about 140 calories and 40 grams of sugar or ~ 10 teaspoons of sugar!
*Coffee/Tea: Contain caffeine but are calorie free (unsweetened)
*Sports Drinks: Contain electrolytes but some contain lots of extra sugar
*Specialty coffee drinks such as lattes or frappuccinos can contribute over 300 calories depending on the type of milk, syrups added, etc.
Tips to Make Healthy Beverage Choices
*Look for beverages that have 100% fruit juice on the label.
*100% fruit juice can be a healthy part of a preschooler`s beverage choices in small amounts.
*Depending on age children can drink ½ cup to 1 cup and adults can drink up to 1 cup of 100% fruit or vegetable juice each day.
(ie: Recommendation for a preschooler is about ½ cup to 3/4 cup (4-6 ounces) of 100% fruit juice per day.)
*Choose fat-free or low-fat milk as they have the same amounts of calcium, protein, and vitamin D as whole or 2% milk, but less calories and saturated fat.
*Preschoolers need about 2-2 ½ cups from the dairy group and adults should aim for about 3 cups
*Choose water when you`re thirsty
*It can cut out some empty calories- Drink plenty of water if you live in hot conditions, are an older adult, or are very active
*Water is a cheaper option when at restaurants, movies, at home
*Water is convenient- get a water bottle that you like, reusable ones are also friendlier to the environment
*Flavored" waters or "vitamin" waters may have added sweeteners.
Visit Choosemyplate.gov for wonderful resources such as daily food plans, nutrient analysis calculators, and links to other websites.