Thursday, September 8, 2011

Are your “healthy” beverages really healthy?

Excerpt from September 1, 2011 Yahoo! Health News, "Half of Americans Drink Daily soda, Sweet Beverage":
Half of Americans drink a soda or sugary beverage each day - many are downing much more than this. 1 in 20 people drink the equivalent of more than four cans of soda every day, even though health officials say sweetened beverages should be limited to less than half a can.
From Kim:
Over half of Americans are drinking a sugary drink each day. We know what you might be saying right now, “But, I don’t drink sodas”. Before you exempt yourself from the masses, we invite you to ask yourself: Am I drinking Packaged Teas, Juices, Flavored Waters or “health” beverages such as certain Kombucha’s that contain high amounts of sugar?

Labels can be deceptively seductive, making it easy to believe we are doing ourselves a favor even as each sip creates spikes in our blood sugar and sets off a cascade of negative health effects such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. It also triggers cravings, mood and energy issues: the very items that give rise to a pop of the sugar top.

Anything beyond an occasional 4-6 grams of sugar – whether through cane sugar or fructose - per serving is likely to set off the sugar cascade.

Unfortunately, artificial sweeteners, as inferred in the article, are not the antidote to sugar. They have much more dangerous effects than sugar including neurotoxins. Think they will help you shed the lb’s? In fact, many of our clients who eliminate artificial sweeteners before beginning our programs begin immediately melting away the very pounds they hoped to shed when they picked up their first diet drink.

Think instead you can reach for fruit juice? Fruit juices are loaded with fructose and behave similarly to sugar.

Sugar begets more sugar and learning to tame this beast will allow you to operate in a much healthier and happier zone. Click here to learn more about Solving the Craving Riddle.

What are some truly healthy beverages?

Top Natural Beverages:

  1. Plain Water
In a league of it’s own, there is no documented replacement for agua, plain and simple. Has your palette become so accustomed to sweets that this natural elixir has lost its sparkle? Try swapping out 1 non-water “beverage” every day for water. This natural progression will allow your palette to adjust slowly as it begins craving what truly nourishes its system. Click here for more information about your best bets when it comes to water.

Before we launch into “Healthier” beverage alternatives, it should be noted: There is no replacement for water. In other words, though we believe that the beverages below are healthier alternatives to the stealth sugar drink explosion, none of these should be used as a substitute. And in fact, for each glass of a non-water beverage consumed, an extra glass of water should be drank, even after something as seemingly innocuous as herbal teas.

  1. Herbal Teas
Brew your own herbal teas throughout the day and watch your cravings melt away. Having a cold or hot toddy to sip on throughout the day often sates the physical and emotional desire for something soothing. In warm summer months, Hibiscus or floral teas cool the senses.Whole Foods offers a gaggle of tasty and refreshing iced teas, ready to self-serve in the Coffee Bar. In warmer months, opt for smokier, robust flavors such as Rooibos or LoveLife Method’s Awake Tea, a delicious coffee substitute.

  1. Bragg's Apple Cider Beverages
If you are a fan of sweet and sour, you’ll love this unusual pairing. Fermented apple cider vinegar, mixed with spice and fruit and then sweetened with Stevia - most of these selections fall within our recommended range of less than 6 grams of sugar. Our favorite is their Apple and Cinnamon.

  1. GT Dave’s Kombucha
Not all Kombuchas are created equal and many Kombuchas contain as much as 20 grams of sugar per serving! Considering that most containers have two servings, this “health” beverage is landing you right up there with a coke. Kombucha makers will say that the net sugar content in these beverages is negligible due to the fermentation of the bacteria that feed on the sugar as their food source. While we are huge advocates of fermented foods and beverages and, understand that a small amount of sugar will allow the good bacteria to thrive, there is a law of diminishing returns to consider. For this reason, one of our favorite kombuchas is GT Daves. Most of their drinks are under 2 grams of sugar. Our latest favorite – Grape Chia flavor.

  1. Tonix Coconut Kefir
Coconut Kefir is a fermented fizzy beverage that contains loads of natural probitoics waiting to crowd out the unfriendly bacteria that create a range of issues as it makes a cozy home in your belly. With only 2 grams of sugar, this effervescent beverage will delight your taste buds, your senses and your body.

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