Keeping your family healthy is a priority for every parent, however tricky ads and misleading nutrition content can make this a harder goal to obtain. Here is the low-down on ten popular drinks from worst to best so that you can make educated decisions for your family.
It won't come as a surprise that soda is a pretty bad option for your family to be drinking. According to the American Heart Association, our children should not be consuming more than 25g of sugar a day. One can of soda far exceeds this daily recommendation. One can of Fanta contains 42g of sugar. Drinking sodas should be saved as a special treat and definitely not something your family consumes daily.
Gatorade and other sports drinks are one of those tricky beverages that are surprisingly not the greatest for you. You see commercials for Gatorade where famous athletes are working really hard and sweating which makes you assume this would be healthy choice for your family. In reality a 12 oz serving contains 21g of sugar while the 32 oz contains 56g of sugar, which is more than double the sugar your children should be consuming in one day. Look for electrolyte replacement tablets that are disolved in water if you're looking for a good sports drink.
While drinking juice such as orange juice does add a serving of fruit to your day, it also contains a ton of concentrated sugar that doesn't need to be digested. Instead, it goes straight to your blood stream. A much healthier option is to give your children whole fruits. If you think giving up juice would be difficult for your family, try diluting it with water as a healthier option.
Almond milk is misleading in that you think you are getting a drink full of all the benefits that come from eating a healthy nut. However because the almonds have been mashed and strained, you lose the benefits that you would otherwise enjoy from just eating almonds. Furthermore almond milk contains no calcium which is misleading for a drink with the word "milk" in it. Almond milk does have fewer calories than milk and while it's not an unhealthy choice, it doesn't contain very many benefits.
Chocolate milk is a great way to get your children to enjoy all of the vitamins and nutrients that come from drinking milk with a little added sweetness that makes them excited to drink it. We use this as a rewrad for finishing a veggie-filled dinner at our house. Buying pre-made chocolate milk from the store such as Trumoo will contain 18g of sugar in only 1 cup of chocolate milk. Instead buy regular milk and sweeten it yourself.
There are a number of health benefits that come from drinking milk including having strong teeth, good complexion, healthy bones, strong muscles, reduced stress, relief from heartburn, help with weight loss and it gives you energy. All of these benefits along with the calcium and other nutrients make milk a great option for your family. But if you or any of your family members have a hard time with dairy products, you can drop milk from the menu without many reprocussions.
While drinks with excessive caffeine should not be given to children, coffee is actually a good option for you and your spouse. Research has shown that coffee may have health benefits such as protection against Parkinson's disease, type 2 diabetes, liver disease and liver cancer. Keep in mind that the addition of cream and sugar was not included with this study.
There are a number of health benefits that come from drinking green tea which makes this a healthy addition to your family's diet. Green tea has been proven to help your body's organs fight cancer, lower your risk for diabetes, burn fat, and reduce your blood pressure. The mild stimulant also helps to battle anxiety and depression.
Water will always be the healthiest option to keep you and your family hydrated. However when it comes to buying packaged bottled water, make sure that you aren't leaving these bottles in the hot sun as they can leak harmful chemicals into your water. Also make sure that your properly dispose or recycle these bottles too, as reusing them can lead to a breakdown of the plastic.
While many assume that drinking bottled water is the best way to go, your city's public works ensures that your drinking water is safe and even provides you with a water quality report. A water filter can give you further assurance that your family is drinking the very best. Make sure that you are filling up your family's cups and water bottles with BPA free plastic, and you'll be keeping your family hydrated in the healthiest way.
Kevin Jones has mastered a busy lifestyle with work and fitness combined with family life. He writes offering solutions for personal fitness and time management as well as keeping families fit together by utilizing activities and diet. You can read more of Kevin's writings by connecting with him online; LinkedIn - Twitter