Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Choosing Healthy Drinks
There are many options for what to drink, but without a doubt, water is the best choice: It's calorie-free, and it's as easy to find as the nearest tap.
Drinks that are loaded with sugar are the worst choice: They provide lots of calories and virtually no other nutrients. Drinking them routinely can lead to weight gain and increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Other drinks have pros and cons, but in moderation, can fit into a healthy diet:
* Coffee and tea: These are calorie-free, as long as you don't load up on the sugar and cream. They are safe for most people and may even have some health benefits.
* Artificially sweetened drinks: These have no calories—a plus—but their long-term effects on weight and health are unknown, so it's best to limit them, if you drink them at all.
* 100% fruit juice: Fruit juice has vitamins, but it is high in calories, so stick to no more than a small glass (four to six ounces) a day.
* Milk: Milk is also high in calories, so there's no need to drink more than a glass or two of low fat or skim milk a day, and less is fine, if you get your calcium from other sources.
* Alcohol: Alcohol is both a tonic and a poison, and the difference lies in the dose and the person drinking it; moderation is key.