There are two sides to the healthy lifestyle coin: the things you should do, and the things you shouldn’t do. Running a few miles may be great for the health, boosting cardiovascular strength and endurance, but that does little to increase longevity if it is followed up by a pack of cigarettes.
In that spirit, let’s identify the top 5 drinks you and your family need to avoid for better health!
Number 1. Juice
Whoa, whoa – juice? Well, yes and no. Juice can be healthy for us – it packs a powerful punch of nutrients and if done right, it can be a healthy daily supplement. However, juices from concentrate, “juice beverages”, cocktails, “drinks”, or mixes should be avoided. Look for one kind of juice if you want health benefits: those with the 100 percent juice label.
Juice is already difficult to justify with its diminished fiber content and high sugar, but with fresh squeezed, organic juice, you can be sure that you’re getting the best possible option. Let’s also not forget those delicious homemade blends of superfood juices!
Number 2. Soda and Energy Drinks
Definitely less of a shock than juice, having a soda or energy drink is one of the most destructive beverage one can consume. They don’t hydrate the body, they lead to poor teeth and weakened bones, and calorie for calorie, they have nil in the way of nutrients. The funny thing is, arguing against these drinks isn’t some far out craze or social oddity – medical professionals, parents, and nutritionists have been calling wolf for a long time now.
Above anything else, it is simple want that feeds into these drinkers. Despite a new study coming out every week on soda, if a person wants one, they will almost assuredly get it. That’s why it is especially important to understand the implications of heavy soda consumption, something that is associated with obesity and diabetes.
As Rachel K. Johnson, RD, PhD, MPH, and professor of nutrition at the University of Vermont, stated, “I don’t think anyone would say that limiting sugar-sweetened drinks is the only solution,” she says. “But to me, it is an important step in the right direction.”
Sugar isn’t the only problem with energy drinks, though. Some drinks contain three times as much caffeine than those “no-sleeping” pills. This has led to some people even being hospitalized for over consumption, which results in “nausea and vomiting, high blood pressure, tremors, dizziness, and numbness” according to WebMD.
Number 3. Glorified Sugar Water
Next to soda is “glorified sugar water,” a term once used in passing by a professor mine during my studies at UCLA. As he pointed out, these drinks we see with vitamins “infused” from within are nothing more than marketing ploy and attempt to capitalize on the health trend in America. While they contain vitamins our body needs, it does so in a fashion that is overshadowed by refined sugars and food coloring.
Like soda, your body will best do without. And if you’re worried about your vitamin intake, consider starting a supplement or eating more healthy, living food!
Number 4. Milk
I won’t lie – I’m a huge fan of milk. But despite this love, it’s crucial that consumers understand the dangers associated with factory farms and animals treated in inhumane ways. Hormones, antibiotics, harsh living conditions, and processed food are all daily realities for these animals, and the product suffers as a result.
If you’re going to drink milk, go for 100 percent organic. This means three things: no hormones have been used to promote growth, no antibiotics have been used, and the dairy cows have been fed 100 percent organic feed. With fewer pesticide residues in milk and better treatment of animals, you can be sure of a better life for the cows and better milk for you! Raw milk is also an option, though is comes with some stiff opposition from the government regulatory agencies. In the meantime, find some organic goat’s milk or almond milk – yum!
Number 5. Alcohol
In moderation, certain forms of alcohol have the opportunity to be healthy, like a glass of organic red wine a day. However, in most cases, alcohol does not do a body good, especially when it extremely excessive. Part of the problem is the ease between switching from moderate drinking to heavy drinking – the difference is sometime two drinks or so.
With consistent heavy alcohol consumption, one runs the risks of certain forms of cancer, pancreatitis, stroke, sudden death, and serious accidental injury or death. That being said, I suggest only to drink in moderation. If you don’t drink, don’t feel obliged to start drinking for the possible health benefits that are still debated. Your best bet is to increase the amount of water you drink and fruits and vegetables you eat!