Overlooked Calories and Drinks Presented By Lee Itule, BA, CPT-NASM Cochise County Health Department. Topics for Discussion. Discuss essential nutrients. Definition of a calorie? Quality of calories in your drinks? Coffee/Tea Soda Milk Juice (Fruit and Vegetable) Etoh (Alcohol)
So your getting exercise and literally watching what you eat, but did you know a significant percent of daily calories could be coming from what is consumed from your drinks?
Yes! We know that good nutrition (along with physical activity) can help to improve your health AND prevent diseases. Also, your body needs the essentialnutrients of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, water, minerals and vitamins to avoid deficiencies that cause health problems.
Every day we not only have the potential to take in essential nutrients from drinks we consume, but also unknown calories.
For the purposes of this presentation, calories may be thought of as ENERGY for the body to think, function and perform work. We get calories from carbohydrates, fats, proteins and etoh (REMEMBER THIS for later)…Vitamins, minerals and water add nutritional value and benefit WITHOUT calories, SO, the key to a healthy meal is to spend your calories on foods or DRINKS that provide a variety of vitamins and minerals without a lot of calories.
OK, let’s start with tea. Otherwise known as Camellia sinensis, the variety is made by steeping roots, leaves, flowers or bark in water. All forms of tea, (white, green, black) are high in antioxidants, and low in calories.
Ahh, glorious coffee, and really only a couple of calories. Until you pour all of the other goodness in, RIGHT? I will challenge you here to read the label for serving size of what you are pouring.
Contrary to popular myth, if you are a regular coffee and tea drinker, diuretic effects are almost negligible (not dehydrating like once thought).
“Milk, it does a body good”. We see it all the time. Well, is milk good for you, or, is it bad for you? There are pros and cons to that popular media statement based on current research.
Milk can be a good source of protein and calcium, but most Americans get more than enough protein in their diet.
Milk may be high in fat (saturated fat) and therefore CALORIES depending on the scale of milk (%). Milk may be harder to digest because of the enzyme lactose (hence lactose intolerance) and may contain hormones from cows.
Although some juices may be packed with nutrients and minerals essential to our daily dietary requirements, while monitoring our food and drink intake a better choice may be the fruit of the vine rather than its bottled version. For example, eating an apple might be better than drinking apple juice.
A glass of cranberry juice cocktail has 33% more sugar than the same size soda? Even though a juice might be a more “natural” food choice, fruit juice is a concentrated source of calories. Try practicing moderation or dilute the juice with a soda water for fizzy drink lower in sugar and calories.
Vegetable juice can be a conundrum. For example, a can of V8 doesn’t stack up to a salad very well, but compared to a soda, is a nutritional feast.
You may reduce servings of vegetables into a single cup of juice. The downfall is in the juice processing (nutrients lost) and potential high content of sodium.
Veg juice should not replace servings of vegetables, but can be a good alternative to sugary or fatty drinks, and may be lower in calories.
Etoh contains calories, 7 calories per 1 gram. (Remember my other slide of essential nutrients?) Etoh would not fall under essential nutrients because there is no disease state or problem if it is not consumed.
The key to a healthy diet is to obtain your calories from intake that provide a variety of minerals and vitamins, and etoh can do the exact opposite of this. An entire meal could easily be obtained from a few cocktails, and etoh has the potential to interfere with how your body processes and stores nutrients.
Research shows that there is a 20% increase in calories consumed at a meal when Etoh is consumed before the meal.
I know… I could go on. The key is to practice MODERATION if you choose to pop the top off of a cold one!
There are many fancy brands of support drinks on the market today, including hydrating, protein, power, energy, rebuilding and etc. The point here is to KEEP IT SIMPLE and remember the essential nutrients. Unless you are a professional athlete training for an event, when it comes to drinks, keep it basic.
That being said, on the bright side, some hydrating drinks contain sodium and potassium which might be helpful for replenishment after sweating. However, the sugar content may be high, so watch the calories.
What about coconut water? WHAT? It is found in the cavity of the coconut when you crack it open. It contains no fat, has mostly natural sugars, potassium, magnesium and is low in calories. Coconut water may be thought of as a natural replenishment drink with electrolytes.
It would be another presentation on the wonderful ways of water, so lets stick to one basic question. How much should I drink?
Lets keep it simple. The average person needs two liters of water a day, or approximately eight glasses of water a day to replace what is lost through normal biological functions like sweating and urinating.
However, some individuals get water intake from fruits and vegetables they eat, and from other beverages they drink (coffee, tea etc).
Your body has a fairly good mechanism for getting rid of excess water so drink up!
Contrary to belief, tap water is good. Of course, it depends on where you live because of contamination.
The modest amounts of minerals found in regular drinking water may play a beneficial role in your health. Magnesium and calcium are important for strong bones and magnesium may also help regulate blood pressure.
Bottled mineral water contains up to four times as much calcium and magnesium as regular tap water.
A nice alternative to soda consumption might be carbonated water.
Soda consumption has been linked to lower bone mineral density, but based on research has nothing to do with carbonation itself.
Research has shown that carbonated water does not harm your teeth (not talking about flavored soda water) and does not hurt or dilute your stomach acid.
Beverages are tools-they can either make or break you. The problem is not usually the one high- calorie drink per week, but the number of high- calorie drinks consumed each week!
The calories are not just with sodas or lattes you drink each day, but also with fruit juice, flavored water and etoh at meals as well. Remember to read labels and look for serving sizes and portions for drinks too. If you would like assistance,
WE WILL HELP!
Practice moderation and drink your way to health!