Americans who drink diet beverages rather than those sweetened with sugar appear to eat more. Here are SupermarketGuru's top healthy beverage suggestions...
Heavy Americans who drink diet beverages rather than those sweetened with sugar appear to eat more, according to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University analyzed data from a survey of 24,000 people over a period of 10 years. Those who were overweight or obese generally consumed the same amount of calories a day no matter what they drank, but those who chose diet drinks got more of their calories from food.
In the study, overweight drinkers of diet beverages ate about 100 more calories a day compared to those who drank regular sugar-sweetened beverages. Lead author Sara Bleich said the results, when paired with other research, suggest that artificial sweeteners may affect people's metabolism or cravings, although more study is needed, according to Reuters.
As we all know, and according to a statement from the American Beverage Association, "Losing or maintaining weight comes down to balancing the total calories consumed with those burned through physical activity.”
Here are some great suggestions to stay hydrated, satisfied while still being calorie conscious.
Water is essential for every function in the body, but during busy days it’s one of the easiest things to forget! Drinking at least 8 ounces of water with each meal can help supply adequate energy, relieve headaches and head congestion, and generally help you think straight. It also helps with proper digestion. Studies have shown that drinking water or being properly hydrated before eating can reduce your caloric intake. Aim for ½ cup water every hour you are awake. Don’t like the flavor of plain water? Squeeze a little lemon or add some herbs like basil for added flavor.
Vegetable juice is one terrific way to ensure you get your daily serving of vegetables, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and hydration. Most vegetable juices are concentrated forms that equal at least two servings. Green drinks with concentrated forms of greens are fantastic and combination drinks come in regular or spicy for a real change to the palate. You can make your own vegetable juices with a blender or a juicer. All of them can be diluted with spring water. Suggested serving is four to six ounces, especially of sweet juices like carrot.
Fruit juice can be an ideal drink for all ages. When melons are inexpensive make them into juices; plain watermelon juice, cantaloupe or honeydew melon blended with crushed ice, or any of the great melons on the market make refreshing beverages. No need for added anything. When drinking juices at home, consider a fruit spritzer with one-third juice and two-thirds sparkling water for a sparkling and cooling drink. You can also dilute fruit juice with water that not only stretches the juice, it also stretches the concentration of natural sugars and calories. Suggested serving is six to eight ounces. Keep in mind that many fruit juice manufacturers add extra sugar and other additives to both bottled and canned products that are unnecessary and provide more calories. Once you try fresh squeezed or blended juices, you'll understand why fruit juices are terrific on their own.
Herbal tea. Herbal tea is actually a misnomer, according to purists, who say that tea can only come from the Camellia sinensis plant. Instead, such mixes should be referred to as infusions or tisanes (from the French word for infusions). Packaged and brewed just like tea, they come from grasses, barks, fruits, flowers and other botanicals and are a great source of minerals, vitamins and hydration. They do not contain caffeine. Some of the more common herbal infusions are Chamomile -aiding relaxation and sleep, Peppermint- aids digestion, Ginger- for upset stomach, and Ginseng- for energy.
Choosing alternative beverages not only gives you some variety in your diet but also helps you stay hydrated and provides minerals, vitamins and other nutritive substances you may not be getting in other parts of your diet.