Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Healthy New Year, Tip #5: Be careful about what you DRINK

Healthy Foodie Rule #5: Minimize Liquid Calories
As tasty as many drinks can be, they generally are low in nutrition, have next to no fiber and therefore do not really satisfy our bodies. All too often, drinks are "empty calories." Of course, the worst offender is the high-fructose-sweetened soft drink/soda, but I think that fruit juices are also not worth the calories. (Eat the fruit instead.)

I try to limit beverages to these (in order of amount consumed):
Water, tea, wine, coffee and cocktails.
Plain water, whether bottled or tap, should be every healthy foodie's main beverage. If you drink alcohol -- as I often do, having wine with dinner most nights -- be sure to drink one glass of water for each glass of wine or other alcoholic beverage.
Tea has been my morning caffeine drink of choice -- I make a large pot with loose-leaf black tea most days, and of late I've enjoyed home brewed coffee as well. Many studies conclude that both tea and coffee can be part of a healthful diet, with green tea having the most beneficial antioxidants. The research on coffee has been very positive in recent months and  years; for me, the only reason to limit it is that I'm very sensitive to caffeine after about 10 AM. 
As you probably know, wine and especially red wine has been shown to have health benefits, although consuming more than a drink or two a day of any alcohol should be avoided.

The drinks I actively avoid are those that add nothing but empty calories to my daily tally--or the vitamins in them are overwhelmed by the sugar and/or fat they contain. This means no soda -- I try to minimize diet sodas to an occasional indulgence -- and no fruit juices. Not to mention no milkshakes or obscenely caloric coffee drinks.

It's not that hard to stick to water when you're thirsty and simple coffee or tea when you need a caffeine boost. Save those calories for something you can sink your teeth into!

1 comment:

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