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What We Often Neglect in Healthy Eating: Drinks

Why is it that we don’t think too much about what we’re drinking? We can have granola for breakfast, salad for lunch and a veggie burger for dinner but what about what we’re drinking? If you’re supplementing all of those meals with soda, juice cocktails or booze, you’re doing your body a serious disservice.

Maybe we don’t think about what we’re drinking as much because it’s so easy to drink a lot without even noticing. You don’t have to cut or chew; there’s no preparation at all. That’s a big reason, but what else? Well, oftentimes drinks can be deceiving. Make sure to think about what you’re drinking and how much of it you’re having — just that consciousness alone can help you feel better and improve your overall health.

167624873Soda
Many sodas claim to be fat-free or diet. It’s easy to think you’re off the hook in these cases, but it’s so crucial to remember that this is just as bad as regular soda — if not worse. First of all, as far as fat is involved, it’s important but not as important as you think in regards of healthy foods. If you’re trying to lose weight you should avoid harmful fats, sure, but the number of calories is just as important.

So what about diet then? Well diet sodas often have less or even no sugar. They replace regular sugar with artificial sweetener most of the time, which is chemically much larger and harder for your body to digest. What that means is, even though it’s technically “less” sugar or even sugar-free, it can be even more harmful to your body and make you gain weight more than regular soda.

In general, stay away from sodas. Make them a treat you have once a week or even once a month. Cut down as best you can.

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While juices are full of vitamins and minerals your body needs, a lot of the time you’re not drinking the real stuff. Be extra careful with any bottle that claims to be juice, and read the fine print. If the word “cocktail” is anywhere on the packaging, steer clear! Juice cocktails are like regular juice but with a lot more sugar and added unnatural flavors and enhancers. This stuff is not right off the tree.

Even regular juices need to be drank in moderation though. While having a glass of juice a few times a week is good for you, having more than a glass a day is more sugar than you should be having! Use moderation here, and make sure if your drink for a meal is a glass of juice, you don’t keep refilling it all night. Another good tip is to mix water with juice—not only will it make that bottle last longer, but it means you’ll stay hydrated and take in less sugar at a time.

170178575Alcohol
While a beer or wine at dinner won’t do much harm, when you go out to the bar and have several alcoholic drinks, you rarely think about them in regards of your body’s health. I’m not just talking about your liver here, either. Alcohol itself is full of empty calories. Empty calories are calories that have no nutritional value. This is harmful for obvious reasons. When you’re having mixed drinks, this is even worse because they’re often full of sugary things like flavor mixes, soda, and juice. Keep drinking in moderation and really think about how much you’re having at a given time.