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Weekly Wellness Tips

Rethink Your Drink

 
Most people may focus more on calories from food, but calories from what you drink can really add up as well. Sugar-sweetened beverages are the major sources of added sugar in the American diet. Sugar-sweetened beverages include any beverage that contains added caloric sweeteners such as sodas, energy or sports drinks, sweetened juices, juice nectars, flavored waters, fruit punches, and sweetened iced teas.
 
Frequent consumption of these sugary drinks can lead to weight gain and obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, non-alcoholic liver disease, tooth decay, and cavities. Limiting intake of sugar-sweetened beverages can help you and your family maintain body weight and promote a healthier diet.
 
To make better beverage choices, refer to the suggestions below! 
  • Choose water, diet, or low-caloric beverages instead of sugar-sweetened beverages.
  • For a quick, easy, and inexpensive thirst-quencher, carry a water bottle and refill it throughout the day.
  • Don't "stock the fridge" with sugar-sweetened beverages. Instead, keep a jug or bottles of cold water in the fridge.
  • Serve water with meals.
  • Choose water when eating out. Generally, you will save money and reduce calories.
  • Make water more exciting by adding slices of lemon, lime, cucumber, or watermelon, or drink sparkling water. This can help you drink more water than you usually do by improving the taste.
  • Add a splash of 100% fruit juice to plain sparkling water for a refreshing, low-calorie drink.
  • When you do opt for a sugar-sweetened beverage, go for the small size. Some companies are now selling 8-oz. cans and bottles of soda, which contain about 100 calories.
  • Be a role model for your friends and family by choosing healthy, low-calorie beverages.

Benefits of Drinking Water

With plain drinking water, there are zero calories and a variety of benefits that come with it. Experts say, appropriate amounts of plain water consumed daily can help your body stay hydrated, reduce caloric intake if substituted with caloric drinks, keep your temperature normal, lubricate and cushion joints, protect your spinal cord and other sensitive tissues, and get rid of body wastes. It is also a great way to stay refreshed!
 
Looking for a tasty, alternative beverage in addition to consuming water? Check out the simple, homemade recipes below for ways you and your child can enjoy a healthy and delicious drink!
 

Healthy Drink Recipes 

Fruit Yogurt Shake

Serving size: 2
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen fruit (peaches, strawberries, bananas, etc.)
  • 1 1/3 cups non-fat yogurt
  • 2 cups skim milk, ice cold
How to make it:
  • Place frozen ingredients into a blender, close top, then puree. 
  • Pour into chilled glasses or cups.
  • Serve with straws.
 

Healthy Homemade Lemonade 

Serving size: 4 - 5 
Ingredients:
  • 2 lemons, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons of honey
  • 4 to 5 cups of water
How to make it:
  • Boil the water in any way that you want.
  • In a large container, place the sliced lemons and add in the honey.
  • Next, pour in the boiling water and allow the mixture to steep for 10 minutes.
  • Pour the hot lemonade into a larger container  and refrigerate overnight.
  • Enjoy your natural healthy lemonade!
It is also great served hot, and is great for preventing and healing colds.

How to Tell Whether Your Drink is Sweetened

On ingredient labels for sugar sweetened-beverages, you may come across unfamiliar names that add calories to your drink. Here is a list of common ingredients you may see:
  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Fructose
  • Fruit juice concentrates
  • Honey
  • Sugar
  • Syrup
  • Corn syrup
  • Sucrose
  • Dextrose
 
Sources: 
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Rethink Your Drink. 2015. Accessed March 25, 2019.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Water and Nutrition. 2016. Accessed March 25, 2019.
 
Online Resources: