Healthy Beverage Choices
This year Rocket Wellness hopes to help you make healthy drinking your personal priority by starting to choose beverages with few or no calories. Americans consume on average more than 200 calories each day from sugary drinks, and research shows these kinds of beverages are associated with obesity which leads to other health problems. There are many options for what to drink on the HSC, and Rocket Wellness always recommends water as the best choice. It’s calorie-free, and it’s as easy to find as the nearest tap. Water provides everything the body needs to restore fluids lost through metabolism, breathing, sweating, and regulating our body temperature. It’s the perfect beverage for quenching thirst and re-hydrating your system. For some people who are accustomed to drinking sweet beverages, water can initially taste bland, if that is the your case try some refreshing water-based beverages such as infused water with sliced citrus fruits or zest (lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit), crushed fresh mint, peeled, sliced fresh ginger or sliced cucumber or crushed berries.
Of the many beverage options available on the HSC, several contain artificial sweeteners. All seven FDA-approved non-nutritive sweeteners are designated as safe for most people. The National Cancer Institute states that there is no clear evidence that these sweeteners are associated with cancer risk in humans. The American Heart Association and American Diabetes Association concluded that when used in moderation, non-nutritive sweeteners might help with weight loss or control, and could also have beneficial metabolic effects. The statement also points out, however, that these potential benefits will not be seen unless an effort is made to control calorie intake from other foods and beverages as well. In other words the health benefits of artificial sweeteners are inconclusive, with research showing mixed findings. Of the many beverage options available on the HSC contain non-nutritive sweeteners, and we recognize your option to make these choices for beverages. Rocket Wellness always encourages water as the best option for quenching your thirst, coffee and tea without added sweeteners are also healthy choices. Other beverages such as unflavored low-fat or fat-free milk, 100% fruit juice, and diet drinks or other no-added sugar beverages should be limited or consumed in moderation.
For more information on Rocket Wellness programs and upcoming health screenings visit us at http://utmc.utoledo.edu/rocketwellness/team.html
Or to sign up for our FREE Six Weeks to Wellness program visit the rocket wellness calendar: http://utmc.utoledo.edu/rocketwellness/utemployee/physicalactivity.html
John Pantel is the wellness dietitian for the UT Office of Community Wellness and Health Promotion. He graduated from The University of Michigan School of Public Health with a Master of Science in Nutritional Science, earned a B.S. in Food and Nutrition from The University of Cincinnati, and is a registered dietitian and nutritionist. John specializes in nutrition for weight loss and management, and affordable healthy eating. His interests include cycling, fitness, and eating healthy.
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