March 9, 2006
New drink guidelines
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has just published healthy beverage guidelines. Think of it as a food pyramid for drinks. It covers everything from water to alcohol and how much you should drink of each every day.
The guidelines are designed to educating people to make healthier selections among the beverages they drink every day because most people get about 20% of their daily calories from something in a glass.
Level one of the healthy beverage guidelines is water. Women should drink nine glasses a day. Men need 13. Level two is unsweetened coffee or tea which has some health benefits. Level three is low-fat milk or soy milk; you need about two cups a day. The guidelines also stress that no one over the age of two should be drinking whole milk. Diet drinks make up level four. You can have about four cups a day of those. Level five is reserved for artificially-sweetened beverages that have some nutritional value, such as fruit or vegetable juice. The guidelines stress drinking just four to eight ounces a day of these types of drinks. You'll also find alcohol in this group. And finally, level six is made up of sweetened drinks with no nutritional value, such as regular soda and sweetened sports drinks.
As you've probably figured out, beverages are ranked based on the number of calories and whether they have any health benefits.
* Unsweetened tea or coffee, up to 40 ounces.
* Low-fat or skim milk and soy beverages, up to 16 ounces.
* Diet soda and other non-caloric sweet drinks, up to 32 ounces.
* Beverages with some nutrients, such as juice, up to 8 ounces.
* Alcoholic beverages, one drink a day for women and two for men.
A drink equals 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, 1.5 ounces
* Sugar-sweetened drinks like soda, no more than 8 ounces.
(Standard soft drink cans are 12 ounces.)
Posted by Lisa at March 9, 2006 8:32 AM
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