Why You Should Choose Healthy Drinks Over Soda

Sodas are sparkling and sweet and delicious; but that does not mean they are good. In fact, the opposite is true. Doctors have found that there are a significant number of health risks associated with drinking soda pop. In addition to these health risks, each time you choose a soda over a healthy drink you are denying your body a range of vitamins and minerals it desperately needs.

Choosing a soda means you are not drinking a healthy beverage; and this means your body is suffering from the lack of those essential minerals and vitamins. There are many healthy options you could choose to drink instead of soda.

Why Should You Say No To Soda?

Although it may taste good it provides absolutely no value to your body at all. It contains no nutritional value; and in fact does more harm than good to your body. Soda is filled with calories and sugar and nothing your body can use. Even diet sodas do not have any nutritional value and in fact can be detrimental to your body. In stark contrast, healthy beverages contain minerals and vitamins that your body can use. Even just plan water can rehydrate your body without the extra calories that come with other drinks.

Sodas that contain sugar are powerful contributors to diabetes and obesity. The high fructose corn syrup (sweetener) content of soda has been linked to obesity. In addition to weight gain the consumption of soda has been linked to type 2 diabetes, not only because of its sugar content but also because of the effects it has on the body’s hormones. What About Diet Soda? Diet soda is no better. According to the results of at least one study, the artificial sweeteners used in diet sodas are linked to an increase in appetite, more difficulty in losing weight and more difficulty maintaining weight loss.

Soda causes damage to your teeth. The combination of the sugar in soda coating your teeth and the bacteria in your mouth forms an acid that causes damage to your teeth. In addition to the sugar, soda contains carbolic acid because of the carbonation, and this weakens the enamel on your teeth causing tooth decay and cavities. This means that even though diet soda may not contain sugar, it is still a danger to your teeth because of its carbonation.

Soda can also weaken your bones. The caffeine and phosphorous contained in the majority of sodas are believed to be linked to osteoporosis. In addition to this, there is a concern that those who drink soda do so in place of healthy drinks such as milk; which in turn means their bones are being deprived of calcium.

Soda can cause harm to your major organs. According to research, an increase in soft drink consumption could be linked to the chronic liver disease, fatty liver, as well as the development of metabolic syndrome which is a combination of symptoms that cause an increase in heart disease, along with chronic kidney disease.

Healthy Drink Alternatives

The good news is that there are endless options for replacing soda with healthy drinks. A few healthy alternatives to soda:

Water. This is the ultimate healthy drink. It has no calories and is essential in keeping the body hydrated. It is also the transport system for getting nutrients to the cells of your body and removing cellular waste. Drinking plenty of water will increase the appearance of your skin and will improve the health of your organs in addition to many other benefits.

Fruit Juice. Straight fruit juice contains a lot of sugar so it is best to drink it as an addition to seltzer to add flavoring. Instead of drinking juice it is better to eat a whole fruit since that will give you the fiber from the fruit as well as the nutrients from the juice.

Milk. Milk is an essential drink that contains nine essential nutrients but very few calories. An 8 ounce glass of nonfat milk contains only 80 calories.

Tea. All teas have been found to contain high levels of antioxidants which help to protect the body from damage. This applies to black tea as well as herbal and green tea.

Powdered Drink Mixes. These drinks do not contain the carbonation that damages teeth that come in the sugar-free soda varieties. Powdered drink mixes can give you a fix of sweetness without causing harm to your overall nutrition.

Cutting up fresh fruit and adding it to a tall glass of water is an excellent way to benefit from flavor as well as nutrition. Try replacing soda with healthy drinks and experience the difference it makes to your body and the way you feel.

Mary D. Jordan / February 28, 2015 / Choose food wisely

What Fruits are Good for Diabetics

Why Fruits And Vegetables Are Essential To Your Health

The imbalance of the average American’s diet is startling. With only around three servings of fruits and vegetables per day – substantially less than the amount recommended by the HHS (Department of Health and Human Services) and the U.S. The new guidelines issued by the USDA (Department of Agriculture) states that the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables per day is 5 to 13 servings, depending on the number of calories your particular body needs.

For many, supplements seem like an easy alternative; and it is a common misconception that taking supplements is as good as eating the vegetables or fruit themselves.

The difference is that in fresh vegetables and fruit the nutrients work together. According to research conducted at the University of Hawaii in Manoa over the past 5 to 10 years, vitamin supplements do not provide the same benefits we receive from fresh food. The Dietry Guidelines created in 2005 by the USDA and HHS which are reviewed every 5 years state that because fresh foods contain naturally occurring ingredients such as flavonoids and carotenoids they are the best source of nutrients.

Apart from the nutrients we are already aware of in the fruits and vegetables there are in fact many that have not yet been discovered. The nutrients in fresh foods are consumed in combination with each other rather than singly. This means they may act in synergistic ways that affect our health. As an example: For those who don’t get enough iron (young women in particular) eating a fruit or vegetable that is rich in vitamin C (which enhances iron absorption) with an iron-rich food such as spinach will increase their iron levels.

Many illnesses may be prevented by vegetables and fruits. Your risk of cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes and stroke, along with some types of cancer may be reduced through eating certain vegetables and fruits. Nearly 110,000 people were examined in The Nurse’s Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study over the course of 14 years. Part of the study results showed that the more vegetables and fruit participants ate daily, the lower the chances were that they would develop cardiovascular diseases.

The relationship between cancer prevention and fruits and vegetables has been more difficult to prove. Having said that, recent studies have revealed that certain types of fruits and vegetables are associated with lover rates of some forms of cancer. For example, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fun, high intakes of non-starchy foods such as leafy greens, cabbage and broccoli lower the risk of colorectal, stomach and mouth cancer. While studies regarding lycopene and prostate cancer have been mixed, it is believed possible that this carotenoid that gives tomatoes their red color may help to reduce the occurrence of prostate cancer.

Perfect for maintaining a health weight, fresh fruits and vegetables are low in calories and fat and contain high levels of water and fiber, resulting in a feeling of being full. This is especially useful for those who want more filling calories without the extra weight gain Fiber also helps to keep you “regular”.

Get Your Fill Of Fruits And Vegetables

Make sure that you eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Different colors of produce will give you a different range of nutrients.

The amount of calories your body needs each day will dictate how many servings of fresh vegetables and fruits you should be eating. A good guideline is to eat a vegetable or fruit at every meal and for every snack.

Although fresh produce is best, if you can’t get it because of accessibility, season or cost, it is better to use frozen, canned or dried options than non at all.

Since a bowl of salad or plate of fruit each day could be the key to preventing serious illness, it is certainly worth making the effort to prioritize it. Getting organized by preparing fruit and vegetables in advance to fit in with your busy schedule can help you to make it easier to support your health. Making fruit and vegetables as easy to eat as convenience foods can make all the difference to your long term health.

Mary D. Jordan / February 27, 2015 / Fat-fighting


Why Carbohydrates Should Be Your Diet’s Fuel

Diets based on a high-protein, low-carb approach aren’t the best weight loss solutions, as they have the potential of making us sick. It is enough to study a little the U.S. Food Pyramid and you are going to notice carbs are mentioned as being absolutely necessary for the proper functioning of our body.

According to Sandra Meyerovitz, an expert in nutrition and online nutrition coach, “Carbohydrate is one of the macronutrients that we need, primarily for energy”. Protein and fat are also two must-have components of a well-balanced nutrition, but they supply long-term energy to our body. Carbohydrates are the ones that provide the immediate amount of energy, as they are faster and easier to break down and convert than fats and protein. This is why Sandra Meyerowitz explains when she stresses the importance of including carbs in your diet, if you want to enjoy an active and healthy lifestyle.

Main Types Of Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates can be simple and complex. Simple ones are easier to convert into energy, while complex ones need a longer time and more work in order for the body to break them down.

As Meyerowitz mentioned, this is a slow process, which is a good thing. When they break down slowly, complex carbs provide constant levels of energy to the body for longer periods of time. Simple carbs supply rather energy spikes, thus not being too useful for us.

Best Sources Of Carbohydrates

It’s well known that we need to take about 50% to 60% of our daily calories from carbs. The best sources of complex carbs are whole grains. Fruits and vegetables provide simple carbs, but they are also healthy because of their fiber content. A failure to supply the body the right amount of carbs will lead to depriving it of energy or to an unhealthy tendency to replace carbohydrates with fats.

Here are a few foods you should consider if you want to give your body high quality carbs:

– Whole grains such as quinoa, bulgur, oats and bran
– Whole grain bread and whole-wheat pasta
– Whole rice
– Plenty of vegetables such as beans, broccoli, lentils and leafy greens
– Various fruits and berries

In order to be effective a diet doesn’t need to be too restrictive. You can occasionally enjoy a dessert or a baked potato. All you need is make sure this is rather an exception than the rule, and you should be fine.

Beware not to lean the scales towards the other side. Making complex carbohydrates your main source of calories is a bad thing either. They are full of calories, so you risk of putting on weight if you don’t pay attention to the right mix between carbs, protein and fat.

Knowing that complex carbs are good for you, you shouldn’t feel guilty if you crave brown rice or whole-grain pasta. They are accepted as healthy foods in any diet, as they are a high quality source of fuel for the body. Such foods are needed in order to be able to maintain a steady supply of energy throughout the whole day.

Mary D. Jordan / February 21, 2015 / Fat-fighting