Achieving and maintaining better health requires controlling your diet, but it can be easy to gloss over what to drink when focusing on what to eat. While the amount of beverages available on the market now is astronomical, the actual number of drinks that benefit your health is far more down to earth. There are numerous reasons for this, but the primary culprit is sugar, so much sugar! For any drink to become a staple of your diet, it needs to contain good ingredients, which often means the fewer ingredients the better.
The healthiest drinks around
First off, let’s kill the suspense. It’s water. Water is the best thing to drink day in and day out. If that’s too plain, remember that adding fresh fruit, cucumbers, mint leaves, etc., are all fine on the Olumia Life plan, and even encouraged. If you like the taste of cucumber or orange water, great! You’re more likely to drink it more often.
After water, unsweetened tea and coffee are quite good for you. We tend to think of coffee and tea as a bit of a treat, but provided you don’t drink too much caffeine and refrain from drinking it too late in the day (which can disrupt your sleep), tea and coffee are a fine addition to your personal beverage menu.
One caveat: this doesn’t apply if you drown your drinks in sugar. While a little cream is not so bad, adding too much sugar can have all sorts of consequences.
Milk is also a great beverage, as it provides lots of vitamins and can even count as the protein portion of a meal.
Let’s talk about juice
Juice gets its own section because it’s more of a category than just a single drink. While any fruit juice is going to contain plenty of sugar, you should especially avoid anything from concentrate. Also, juice with the pulp filtered out will naturally have fewer beneficial ingredients, as much of what’s healthy about juice, like fiber, is in the pulp itself.
Eating actual fruit or juicing whole fruits rather than drinking regular juice is healthier. The sugar in juice is mostly fructose. Without the healthy parts of the fruit present in your juice, the sugar is even worse than usual. This is part of why studies have shown that eating fruit lowers your risk of diabetes, but only drinking juice raises it. It can’t be denied: fruits are very good for you.
Sugar and fake sugar
It should be obvious that soda is all kinds of trouble for leading a healthy lifestyle, but there are lots of other drinks with an excess of sugar as well. Sports drinks, energy drinks, most bottled juices, bottled smoothies and flavored coffee/tea drinks all have way too much sugar to be healthy beverages.
Many of these types of beverages have responded to public outcry over their sugar content by marketing lo-cal, no sugar versions in which the sugar has been replaced with artificial sweeteners. Unfortunately, artificial sweeteners have a litany of their own problems, including studies showing how they can cause weight gain and increased insulin resistance. Because of these problems, Olumia Life can’t really recommend regular use of artificial sweeteners as a reasonable alternative to sugar in your drinks.
When it comes to drinking, there’s just no way around the fact that alcohol, no matter the type of drink, is not good for you. This doesn’t mean you can never drink alcohol again. You just need to do so in moderation and certainly not as a regular beverage in your diet. While there is some talk about, for example, the antioxidants in red wine, the negative impact of alcohol cancels out whatever possible benefits there might be.
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