Pulse of UTMC

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

Stay Well!

is the wellness dietitian nutritionist and Program Manager for Nutrition and Community Engagement for UT Rocket Wellness. 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 nutritionist. John specializes in nutrition for a healthy weight and affordable healthy eating. His interests include cycling, fitness, and gardening with his family.
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2 Responses to “Healthy Beverage Choices”

  1. Felicia Guerrero Says:

    John, thanks for the clarification on Rocket Wellness beverage recommendation and the issue of artificially sweetened beverages. I’ve heard comments about diet soft drinks since the new policy began. Also, love the suggestions for adding some natural flavors to water!

  2. Sandra Kazmierczak Says:

    I support the Rocket Wellness program, however… removing chocolate milk from our choices is getting a bit extreme. The Operating Room staff at UTMC work in a very stressful environment, sometimes we don’t get breaks for 5-6 hours. It is nice to run out to the lounge and chug down a chocolate milk or a hot chocolate to warm up. Most people don’t ever spend time in this kind of environment so you have no idea what it is like. Why not try it sometime. I believe moderation is a better idea, why treat professionals like children and tell them they can’t have something. Sincerely.

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A journal about how the people at UT Medical Center are improving the human condition. UTMC provides compassionate, university-caliber patient care while supporting and enhancing the health education of The University of Toledo.

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