Whether you're having a hard time drinking enough water, or you just want to add some nutrition to your daily intake of fluids, many people find it a challenge to figure out what and how much they should be drinking each day. Both the beverage drinking patterns and overall health of U.S. adults have changed considerably over the past several decades. In the 1970s, Americans got 6% to 8% of their daily calories from drinks. Today, that number has increased significantly - to a whopping 21% ! Not counting what has been poured into that glass, cup, can or mug may be a major cause of the alarming increase in obesity. Here are a few tips to help you make healthy beverage choices for you and your family.
Eat & Drink for Complete Nutrition
In March 2006, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published guidelines for beverage consumption, developed by the Beverage Guidance Panel. These experts reviewed years of research on beverages and health to make recommendations for adults. The panel stressed that a healthy diet should NOT rely on fluids to provide calorie or nutrition needs, and that water is necessary for metabolism and normal physiological function. In fact, water is the only fluid that the body truly needs.
Healthy Beverage Guidelines
Adults should consume 12 cups (96 ounces) of fluids per day. For an adult on the standard 2,200 calorie diet, no more than 200-300 calories should come from fluids. Adults consuming fewer than 2,200 calories should limit beverages containing calories even more—to less than 200 calories daily.
Start With Water
When eating a healthy and nutrition rich diet, water can meet all of your fluid needs. This is the ideal choice and it is what is recommended by nutritional experts.
What To Drink
When you want something besides water, your first choice should be unsweetened coffee or tea. Coffee has some limited health benefits, and tea provides a variety of flavonoids and antioxidants. Both contain caffeine, which should be limited to less than 400 milligrams daily, or less than 300 milligrams for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Milk is a good choice because it's an important source of calcium, magnesium, and Vitamin D. Fortified soymilk is a good alternative with many of the same benefits. If you want to learn more about what does or doesn't contain nutrition, Johns Creek offers services that can help you!
What To Avoid
Try to avoid diet soda, diet drinks, and artificially-sweetened drinks, teas and coffees. Some studies suggest that these types of beverages condition adults to have a higher preference for sweets. This might even lead you to making unhealthy food choices if you end up overdeveloping your sweet tooth! Also, try to stay away from fruit juices. Although they do contain a limited amount of nutrition, they are usually loaded with sugar!
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