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Best Teas for Your Health

Best Teas for Your Health


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There’s a type of tea for everything

Shutterstock/ Gresei

Here’s some healthy teas worth sipping.

Many Americans are taking the initiative to live a healthier lifestyle. Making changes in your diet and promising yourself you will go to the gym more are great places to start, but they’re not the easiest things to do right off the bat.

Cutting down on sweets when you used to eat them every day will cause your body to go through withdrawals. Where’s the best place to start? We suggest doing your research on essential nutrients and what they do for your body, decide on where you’re lacking, and then, explore the world of tea.

Tea includes herbs that will serve your body in ways you never thought possible. If you’re looking for a simple way to improve your lifestyle, these are the best teas for you.

Better Sleep: Chamomile Tea

Chamomile is a range of daisy-like plants that’s been used as traditional medicine for years and years. Its main healing properties, apigenin and bisabolol, can help you sleep better through the night.

Losing Weight: Green Tea

Green Tea contains EGCG, a useful catechin for maintaining metabolic health. Studies show that drinking plenty of green tea burns calories, promoting weight loss.

Stronger Bones and Teeth: Oolong Tea

Set aside that glass of milk; there are healthier ways to obtain your daily dose of calcium. In fact, the inhibitory properties of Oolong tea have been proven to aid stronger bones and teeth.

The accompanyingslideshow is provided by Jess Novak.


The Best Beverages For Your Health

With so many beverages lining store shelves plus media hubbub swirling about the so-called positive and negative effects of various drinks, what you should be sipping? Researchers at Harvard School of Public Health’s Department of Nutrition reviewed the wide selection of beverages available and ranked them into 6 levels based on the amount of calories, good-for-you nutrients, and scientific evidence on the negative and positive effects on health. Not too surprising, water topped the list, but that doesn't mean it's the only healthy choice.

Unsweetened tea, coffee and milk have a place in your healthy eating plan, while juice, alcohol and sweetened beverages should be consumed sparingly.

Water helps restore fluid losses and helps rehydrate your body. Although we're often told to drink 8 cups of water each day, the amount of water we need varies from person to person. It depends on the amount of food you eat, how active you are and the climate you live in. Most people get about 80% of their fluids from beverages, the rest comes from food. The Institute of Medicine's guidelines are 15 cups per day for men and 11 cups per day for women (coming from a combo of food and drinks).

Tea and coffee are two of the most commonly consumed beverages in the world. Without all the fancy add-ins (like whipped cream, shaved chocolate, heavy cream), they can provide numerous nutritional benefits and help meet your daily fluid requirements. Green tea has been touted for helping prevent heart disease while coffee has been shown to have explosive amounts of cell-protecting antioxidants. Although studies have found that up to 3 or so cups of coffee or tea are okay, these drinks also tend to leach out calcium and iron, so try to keep it to that amount.

Milk provides 9 essential nutrients including protein, calcium, and vitamin D. The USDA's Dietary Guidelines recommended choosing low-fat or fat-free (AKA skim) milk to minimize saturated fat and cholesterol. Drinking milk and soy milk can also help you meet the recommended 3 servings of dairy each day.

Although most of your fluid requirements should be met with those listed above, these beverages can fit into your healthy lifestyle when sipped on in small amounts.

These include zero- or very low-calorie beverages sweetened with aspartame, sucralose, saccharine or stevia. Although these choices are better than sugar and calorie-filled sodas they shouldn't replace good old water.

Fruit juice, vegetable juice, sports drinks, vitamin fortified water and alcoholic beverages have their advantages and disadvantages. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a maximum of 4 fluid ounces of 100% fruit is recommended per day. Although you can get in many vitamins and minerals through vegetables juice, many processed varieties contain high amounts of sodium. Alcohol also should be consumed in small amounts with the recommendations being 1 serving per day for women and 2 for men.

The least recommended of all the beverages are those sweetened with sugar that don't provide many nutrients. These include sodas, fruit drinks, and many commercially sweetened lemonades. High-calorie smoothies should also be consumed sparingly. These drinks have been linked to weight gain and can increase your risk for type 2 diabetes.

Bottom Line: There are a wide variety of beverages that can fit into a healthful diet. Understanding which you should be drinking more verses less of can help keep you on the right track.

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby's full bio »


The Best Beverages For Your Health

With so many beverages lining store shelves plus media hubbub swirling about the so-called positive and negative effects of various drinks, what you should be sipping? Researchers at Harvard School of Public Health’s Department of Nutrition reviewed the wide selection of beverages available and ranked them into 6 levels based on the amount of calories, good-for-you nutrients, and scientific evidence on the negative and positive effects on health. Not too surprising, water topped the list, but that doesn't mean it's the only healthy choice.

Unsweetened tea, coffee and milk have a place in your healthy eating plan, while juice, alcohol and sweetened beverages should be consumed sparingly.

Water helps restore fluid losses and helps rehydrate your body. Although we're often told to drink 8 cups of water each day, the amount of water we need varies from person to person. It depends on the amount of food you eat, how active you are and the climate you live in. Most people get about 80% of their fluids from beverages, the rest comes from food. The Institute of Medicine's guidelines are 15 cups per day for men and 11 cups per day for women (coming from a combo of food and drinks).

Tea and coffee are two of the most commonly consumed beverages in the world. Without all the fancy add-ins (like whipped cream, shaved chocolate, heavy cream), they can provide numerous nutritional benefits and help meet your daily fluid requirements. Green tea has been touted for helping prevent heart disease while coffee has been shown to have explosive amounts of cell-protecting antioxidants. Although studies have found that up to 3 or so cups of coffee or tea are okay, these drinks also tend to leach out calcium and iron, so try to keep it to that amount.

Milk provides 9 essential nutrients including protein, calcium, and vitamin D. The USDA's Dietary Guidelines recommended choosing low-fat or fat-free (AKA skim) milk to minimize saturated fat and cholesterol. Drinking milk and soy milk can also help you meet the recommended 3 servings of dairy each day.

Although most of your fluid requirements should be met with those listed above, these beverages can fit into your healthy lifestyle when sipped on in small amounts.

These include zero- or very low-calorie beverages sweetened with aspartame, sucralose, saccharine or stevia. Although these choices are better than sugar and calorie-filled sodas they shouldn't replace good old water.

Fruit juice, vegetable juice, sports drinks, vitamin fortified water and alcoholic beverages have their advantages and disadvantages. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a maximum of 4 fluid ounces of 100% fruit is recommended per day. Although you can get in many vitamins and minerals through vegetables juice, many processed varieties contain high amounts of sodium. Alcohol also should be consumed in small amounts with the recommendations being 1 serving per day for women and 2 for men.

The least recommended of all the beverages are those sweetened with sugar that don't provide many nutrients. These include sodas, fruit drinks, and many commercially sweetened lemonades. High-calorie smoothies should also be consumed sparingly. These drinks have been linked to weight gain and can increase your risk for type 2 diabetes.

Bottom Line: There are a wide variety of beverages that can fit into a healthful diet. Understanding which you should be drinking more verses less of can help keep you on the right track.

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby's full bio »


The Best Beverages For Your Health

With so many beverages lining store shelves plus media hubbub swirling about the so-called positive and negative effects of various drinks, what you should be sipping? Researchers at Harvard School of Public Health’s Department of Nutrition reviewed the wide selection of beverages available and ranked them into 6 levels based on the amount of calories, good-for-you nutrients, and scientific evidence on the negative and positive effects on health. Not too surprising, water topped the list, but that doesn't mean it's the only healthy choice.

Unsweetened tea, coffee and milk have a place in your healthy eating plan, while juice, alcohol and sweetened beverages should be consumed sparingly.

Water helps restore fluid losses and helps rehydrate your body. Although we're often told to drink 8 cups of water each day, the amount of water we need varies from person to person. It depends on the amount of food you eat, how active you are and the climate you live in. Most people get about 80% of their fluids from beverages, the rest comes from food. The Institute of Medicine's guidelines are 15 cups per day for men and 11 cups per day for women (coming from a combo of food and drinks).

Tea and coffee are two of the most commonly consumed beverages in the world. Without all the fancy add-ins (like whipped cream, shaved chocolate, heavy cream), they can provide numerous nutritional benefits and help meet your daily fluid requirements. Green tea has been touted for helping prevent heart disease while coffee has been shown to have explosive amounts of cell-protecting antioxidants. Although studies have found that up to 3 or so cups of coffee or tea are okay, these drinks also tend to leach out calcium and iron, so try to keep it to that amount.

Milk provides 9 essential nutrients including protein, calcium, and vitamin D. The USDA's Dietary Guidelines recommended choosing low-fat or fat-free (AKA skim) milk to minimize saturated fat and cholesterol. Drinking milk and soy milk can also help you meet the recommended 3 servings of dairy each day.

Although most of your fluid requirements should be met with those listed above, these beverages can fit into your healthy lifestyle when sipped on in small amounts.

These include zero- or very low-calorie beverages sweetened with aspartame, sucralose, saccharine or stevia. Although these choices are better than sugar and calorie-filled sodas they shouldn't replace good old water.

Fruit juice, vegetable juice, sports drinks, vitamin fortified water and alcoholic beverages have their advantages and disadvantages. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a maximum of 4 fluid ounces of 100% fruit is recommended per day. Although you can get in many vitamins and minerals through vegetables juice, many processed varieties contain high amounts of sodium. Alcohol also should be consumed in small amounts with the recommendations being 1 serving per day for women and 2 for men.

The least recommended of all the beverages are those sweetened with sugar that don't provide many nutrients. These include sodas, fruit drinks, and many commercially sweetened lemonades. High-calorie smoothies should also be consumed sparingly. These drinks have been linked to weight gain and can increase your risk for type 2 diabetes.

Bottom Line: There are a wide variety of beverages that can fit into a healthful diet. Understanding which you should be drinking more verses less of can help keep you on the right track.

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby's full bio »


The Best Beverages For Your Health

With so many beverages lining store shelves plus media hubbub swirling about the so-called positive and negative effects of various drinks, what you should be sipping? Researchers at Harvard School of Public Health’s Department of Nutrition reviewed the wide selection of beverages available and ranked them into 6 levels based on the amount of calories, good-for-you nutrients, and scientific evidence on the negative and positive effects on health. Not too surprising, water topped the list, but that doesn't mean it's the only healthy choice.

Unsweetened tea, coffee and milk have a place in your healthy eating plan, while juice, alcohol and sweetened beverages should be consumed sparingly.

Water helps restore fluid losses and helps rehydrate your body. Although we're often told to drink 8 cups of water each day, the amount of water we need varies from person to person. It depends on the amount of food you eat, how active you are and the climate you live in. Most people get about 80% of their fluids from beverages, the rest comes from food. The Institute of Medicine's guidelines are 15 cups per day for men and 11 cups per day for women (coming from a combo of food and drinks).

Tea and coffee are two of the most commonly consumed beverages in the world. Without all the fancy add-ins (like whipped cream, shaved chocolate, heavy cream), they can provide numerous nutritional benefits and help meet your daily fluid requirements. Green tea has been touted for helping prevent heart disease while coffee has been shown to have explosive amounts of cell-protecting antioxidants. Although studies have found that up to 3 or so cups of coffee or tea are okay, these drinks also tend to leach out calcium and iron, so try to keep it to that amount.

Milk provides 9 essential nutrients including protein, calcium, and vitamin D. The USDA's Dietary Guidelines recommended choosing low-fat or fat-free (AKA skim) milk to minimize saturated fat and cholesterol. Drinking milk and soy milk can also help you meet the recommended 3 servings of dairy each day.

Although most of your fluid requirements should be met with those listed above, these beverages can fit into your healthy lifestyle when sipped on in small amounts.

These include zero- or very low-calorie beverages sweetened with aspartame, sucralose, saccharine or stevia. Although these choices are better than sugar and calorie-filled sodas they shouldn't replace good old water.

Fruit juice, vegetable juice, sports drinks, vitamin fortified water and alcoholic beverages have their advantages and disadvantages. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a maximum of 4 fluid ounces of 100% fruit is recommended per day. Although you can get in many vitamins and minerals through vegetables juice, many processed varieties contain high amounts of sodium. Alcohol also should be consumed in small amounts with the recommendations being 1 serving per day for women and 2 for men.

The least recommended of all the beverages are those sweetened with sugar that don't provide many nutrients. These include sodas, fruit drinks, and many commercially sweetened lemonades. High-calorie smoothies should also be consumed sparingly. These drinks have been linked to weight gain and can increase your risk for type 2 diabetes.

Bottom Line: There are a wide variety of beverages that can fit into a healthful diet. Understanding which you should be drinking more verses less of can help keep you on the right track.

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby's full bio »


The Best Beverages For Your Health

With so many beverages lining store shelves plus media hubbub swirling about the so-called positive and negative effects of various drinks, what you should be sipping? Researchers at Harvard School of Public Health’s Department of Nutrition reviewed the wide selection of beverages available and ranked them into 6 levels based on the amount of calories, good-for-you nutrients, and scientific evidence on the negative and positive effects on health. Not too surprising, water topped the list, but that doesn't mean it's the only healthy choice.

Unsweetened tea, coffee and milk have a place in your healthy eating plan, while juice, alcohol and sweetened beverages should be consumed sparingly.

Water helps restore fluid losses and helps rehydrate your body. Although we're often told to drink 8 cups of water each day, the amount of water we need varies from person to person. It depends on the amount of food you eat, how active you are and the climate you live in. Most people get about 80% of their fluids from beverages, the rest comes from food. The Institute of Medicine's guidelines are 15 cups per day for men and 11 cups per day for women (coming from a combo of food and drinks).

Tea and coffee are two of the most commonly consumed beverages in the world. Without all the fancy add-ins (like whipped cream, shaved chocolate, heavy cream), they can provide numerous nutritional benefits and help meet your daily fluid requirements. Green tea has been touted for helping prevent heart disease while coffee has been shown to have explosive amounts of cell-protecting antioxidants. Although studies have found that up to 3 or so cups of coffee or tea are okay, these drinks also tend to leach out calcium and iron, so try to keep it to that amount.

Milk provides 9 essential nutrients including protein, calcium, and vitamin D. The USDA's Dietary Guidelines recommended choosing low-fat or fat-free (AKA skim) milk to minimize saturated fat and cholesterol. Drinking milk and soy milk can also help you meet the recommended 3 servings of dairy each day.

Although most of your fluid requirements should be met with those listed above, these beverages can fit into your healthy lifestyle when sipped on in small amounts.

These include zero- or very low-calorie beverages sweetened with aspartame, sucralose, saccharine or stevia. Although these choices are better than sugar and calorie-filled sodas they shouldn't replace good old water.

Fruit juice, vegetable juice, sports drinks, vitamin fortified water and alcoholic beverages have their advantages and disadvantages. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a maximum of 4 fluid ounces of 100% fruit is recommended per day. Although you can get in many vitamins and minerals through vegetables juice, many processed varieties contain high amounts of sodium. Alcohol also should be consumed in small amounts with the recommendations being 1 serving per day for women and 2 for men.

The least recommended of all the beverages are those sweetened with sugar that don't provide many nutrients. These include sodas, fruit drinks, and many commercially sweetened lemonades. High-calorie smoothies should also be consumed sparingly. These drinks have been linked to weight gain and can increase your risk for type 2 diabetes.

Bottom Line: There are a wide variety of beverages that can fit into a healthful diet. Understanding which you should be drinking more verses less of can help keep you on the right track.

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby's full bio »


The Best Beverages For Your Health

With so many beverages lining store shelves plus media hubbub swirling about the so-called positive and negative effects of various drinks, what you should be sipping? Researchers at Harvard School of Public Health’s Department of Nutrition reviewed the wide selection of beverages available and ranked them into 6 levels based on the amount of calories, good-for-you nutrients, and scientific evidence on the negative and positive effects on health. Not too surprising, water topped the list, but that doesn't mean it's the only healthy choice.

Unsweetened tea, coffee and milk have a place in your healthy eating plan, while juice, alcohol and sweetened beverages should be consumed sparingly.

Water helps restore fluid losses and helps rehydrate your body. Although we're often told to drink 8 cups of water each day, the amount of water we need varies from person to person. It depends on the amount of food you eat, how active you are and the climate you live in. Most people get about 80% of their fluids from beverages, the rest comes from food. The Institute of Medicine's guidelines are 15 cups per day for men and 11 cups per day for women (coming from a combo of food and drinks).

Tea and coffee are two of the most commonly consumed beverages in the world. Without all the fancy add-ins (like whipped cream, shaved chocolate, heavy cream), they can provide numerous nutritional benefits and help meet your daily fluid requirements. Green tea has been touted for helping prevent heart disease while coffee has been shown to have explosive amounts of cell-protecting antioxidants. Although studies have found that up to 3 or so cups of coffee or tea are okay, these drinks also tend to leach out calcium and iron, so try to keep it to that amount.

Milk provides 9 essential nutrients including protein, calcium, and vitamin D. The USDA's Dietary Guidelines recommended choosing low-fat or fat-free (AKA skim) milk to minimize saturated fat and cholesterol. Drinking milk and soy milk can also help you meet the recommended 3 servings of dairy each day.

Although most of your fluid requirements should be met with those listed above, these beverages can fit into your healthy lifestyle when sipped on in small amounts.

These include zero- or very low-calorie beverages sweetened with aspartame, sucralose, saccharine or stevia. Although these choices are better than sugar and calorie-filled sodas they shouldn't replace good old water.

Fruit juice, vegetable juice, sports drinks, vitamin fortified water and alcoholic beverages have their advantages and disadvantages. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a maximum of 4 fluid ounces of 100% fruit is recommended per day. Although you can get in many vitamins and minerals through vegetables juice, many processed varieties contain high amounts of sodium. Alcohol also should be consumed in small amounts with the recommendations being 1 serving per day for women and 2 for men.

The least recommended of all the beverages are those sweetened with sugar that don't provide many nutrients. These include sodas, fruit drinks, and many commercially sweetened lemonades. High-calorie smoothies should also be consumed sparingly. These drinks have been linked to weight gain and can increase your risk for type 2 diabetes.

Bottom Line: There are a wide variety of beverages that can fit into a healthful diet. Understanding which you should be drinking more verses less of can help keep you on the right track.

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby's full bio »


The Best Beverages For Your Health

With so many beverages lining store shelves plus media hubbub swirling about the so-called positive and negative effects of various drinks, what you should be sipping? Researchers at Harvard School of Public Health’s Department of Nutrition reviewed the wide selection of beverages available and ranked them into 6 levels based on the amount of calories, good-for-you nutrients, and scientific evidence on the negative and positive effects on health. Not too surprising, water topped the list, but that doesn't mean it's the only healthy choice.

Unsweetened tea, coffee and milk have a place in your healthy eating plan, while juice, alcohol and sweetened beverages should be consumed sparingly.

Water helps restore fluid losses and helps rehydrate your body. Although we're often told to drink 8 cups of water each day, the amount of water we need varies from person to person. It depends on the amount of food you eat, how active you are and the climate you live in. Most people get about 80% of their fluids from beverages, the rest comes from food. The Institute of Medicine's guidelines are 15 cups per day for men and 11 cups per day for women (coming from a combo of food and drinks).

Tea and coffee are two of the most commonly consumed beverages in the world. Without all the fancy add-ins (like whipped cream, shaved chocolate, heavy cream), they can provide numerous nutritional benefits and help meet your daily fluid requirements. Green tea has been touted for helping prevent heart disease while coffee has been shown to have explosive amounts of cell-protecting antioxidants. Although studies have found that up to 3 or so cups of coffee or tea are okay, these drinks also tend to leach out calcium and iron, so try to keep it to that amount.

Milk provides 9 essential nutrients including protein, calcium, and vitamin D. The USDA's Dietary Guidelines recommended choosing low-fat or fat-free (AKA skim) milk to minimize saturated fat and cholesterol. Drinking milk and soy milk can also help you meet the recommended 3 servings of dairy each day.

Although most of your fluid requirements should be met with those listed above, these beverages can fit into your healthy lifestyle when sipped on in small amounts.

These include zero- or very low-calorie beverages sweetened with aspartame, sucralose, saccharine or stevia. Although these choices are better than sugar and calorie-filled sodas they shouldn't replace good old water.

Fruit juice, vegetable juice, sports drinks, vitamin fortified water and alcoholic beverages have their advantages and disadvantages. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a maximum of 4 fluid ounces of 100% fruit is recommended per day. Although you can get in many vitamins and minerals through vegetables juice, many processed varieties contain high amounts of sodium. Alcohol also should be consumed in small amounts with the recommendations being 1 serving per day for women and 2 for men.

The least recommended of all the beverages are those sweetened with sugar that don't provide many nutrients. These include sodas, fruit drinks, and many commercially sweetened lemonades. High-calorie smoothies should also be consumed sparingly. These drinks have been linked to weight gain and can increase your risk for type 2 diabetes.

Bottom Line: There are a wide variety of beverages that can fit into a healthful diet. Understanding which you should be drinking more verses less of can help keep you on the right track.

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby's full bio »


The Best Beverages For Your Health

With so many beverages lining store shelves plus media hubbub swirling about the so-called positive and negative effects of various drinks, what you should be sipping? Researchers at Harvard School of Public Health’s Department of Nutrition reviewed the wide selection of beverages available and ranked them into 6 levels based on the amount of calories, good-for-you nutrients, and scientific evidence on the negative and positive effects on health. Not too surprising, water topped the list, but that doesn't mean it's the only healthy choice.

Unsweetened tea, coffee and milk have a place in your healthy eating plan, while juice, alcohol and sweetened beverages should be consumed sparingly.

Water helps restore fluid losses and helps rehydrate your body. Although we're often told to drink 8 cups of water each day, the amount of water we need varies from person to person. It depends on the amount of food you eat, how active you are and the climate you live in. Most people get about 80% of their fluids from beverages, the rest comes from food. The Institute of Medicine's guidelines are 15 cups per day for men and 11 cups per day for women (coming from a combo of food and drinks).

Tea and coffee are two of the most commonly consumed beverages in the world. Without all the fancy add-ins (like whipped cream, shaved chocolate, heavy cream), they can provide numerous nutritional benefits and help meet your daily fluid requirements. Green tea has been touted for helping prevent heart disease while coffee has been shown to have explosive amounts of cell-protecting antioxidants. Although studies have found that up to 3 or so cups of coffee or tea are okay, these drinks also tend to leach out calcium and iron, so try to keep it to that amount.

Milk provides 9 essential nutrients including protein, calcium, and vitamin D. The USDA's Dietary Guidelines recommended choosing low-fat or fat-free (AKA skim) milk to minimize saturated fat and cholesterol. Drinking milk and soy milk can also help you meet the recommended 3 servings of dairy each day.

Although most of your fluid requirements should be met with those listed above, these beverages can fit into your healthy lifestyle when sipped on in small amounts.

These include zero- or very low-calorie beverages sweetened with aspartame, sucralose, saccharine or stevia. Although these choices are better than sugar and calorie-filled sodas they shouldn't replace good old water.

Fruit juice, vegetable juice, sports drinks, vitamin fortified water and alcoholic beverages have their advantages and disadvantages. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a maximum of 4 fluid ounces of 100% fruit is recommended per day. Although you can get in many vitamins and minerals through vegetables juice, many processed varieties contain high amounts of sodium. Alcohol also should be consumed in small amounts with the recommendations being 1 serving per day for women and 2 for men.

The least recommended of all the beverages are those sweetened with sugar that don't provide many nutrients. These include sodas, fruit drinks, and many commercially sweetened lemonades. High-calorie smoothies should also be consumed sparingly. These drinks have been linked to weight gain and can increase your risk for type 2 diabetes.

Bottom Line: There are a wide variety of beverages that can fit into a healthful diet. Understanding which you should be drinking more verses less of can help keep you on the right track.

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby's full bio »


The Best Beverages For Your Health

With so many beverages lining store shelves plus media hubbub swirling about the so-called positive and negative effects of various drinks, what you should be sipping? Researchers at Harvard School of Public Health’s Department of Nutrition reviewed the wide selection of beverages available and ranked them into 6 levels based on the amount of calories, good-for-you nutrients, and scientific evidence on the negative and positive effects on health. Not too surprising, water topped the list, but that doesn't mean it's the only healthy choice.

Unsweetened tea, coffee and milk have a place in your healthy eating plan, while juice, alcohol and sweetened beverages should be consumed sparingly.

Water helps restore fluid losses and helps rehydrate your body. Although we're often told to drink 8 cups of water each day, the amount of water we need varies from person to person. It depends on the amount of food you eat, how active you are and the climate you live in. Most people get about 80% of their fluids from beverages, the rest comes from food. The Institute of Medicine's guidelines are 15 cups per day for men and 11 cups per day for women (coming from a combo of food and drinks).

Tea and coffee are two of the most commonly consumed beverages in the world. Without all the fancy add-ins (like whipped cream, shaved chocolate, heavy cream), they can provide numerous nutritional benefits and help meet your daily fluid requirements. Green tea has been touted for helping prevent heart disease while coffee has been shown to have explosive amounts of cell-protecting antioxidants. Although studies have found that up to 3 or so cups of coffee or tea are okay, these drinks also tend to leach out calcium and iron, so try to keep it to that amount.

Milk provides 9 essential nutrients including protein, calcium, and vitamin D. The USDA's Dietary Guidelines recommended choosing low-fat or fat-free (AKA skim) milk to minimize saturated fat and cholesterol. Drinking milk and soy milk can also help you meet the recommended 3 servings of dairy each day.

Although most of your fluid requirements should be met with those listed above, these beverages can fit into your healthy lifestyle when sipped on in small amounts.

These include zero- or very low-calorie beverages sweetened with aspartame, sucralose, saccharine or stevia. Although these choices are better than sugar and calorie-filled sodas they shouldn't replace good old water.

Fruit juice, vegetable juice, sports drinks, vitamin fortified water and alcoholic beverages have their advantages and disadvantages. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a maximum of 4 fluid ounces of 100% fruit is recommended per day. Although you can get in many vitamins and minerals through vegetables juice, many processed varieties contain high amounts of sodium. Alcohol also should be consumed in small amounts with the recommendations being 1 serving per day for women and 2 for men.

The least recommended of all the beverages are those sweetened with sugar that don't provide many nutrients. These include sodas, fruit drinks, and many commercially sweetened lemonades. High-calorie smoothies should also be consumed sparingly. These drinks have been linked to weight gain and can increase your risk for type 2 diabetes.

Bottom Line: There are a wide variety of beverages that can fit into a healthful diet. Understanding which you should be drinking more verses less of can help keep you on the right track.

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby's full bio »


The Best Beverages For Your Health

With so many beverages lining store shelves plus media hubbub swirling about the so-called positive and negative effects of various drinks, what you should be sipping? Researchers at Harvard School of Public Health’s Department of Nutrition reviewed the wide selection of beverages available and ranked them into 6 levels based on the amount of calories, good-for-you nutrients, and scientific evidence on the negative and positive effects on health. Not too surprising, water topped the list, but that doesn't mean it's the only healthy choice.

Unsweetened tea, coffee and milk have a place in your healthy eating plan, while juice, alcohol and sweetened beverages should be consumed sparingly.

Water helps restore fluid losses and helps rehydrate your body. Although we're often told to drink 8 cups of water each day, the amount of water we need varies from person to person. It depends on the amount of food you eat, how active you are and the climate you live in. Most people get about 80% of their fluids from beverages, the rest comes from food. The Institute of Medicine's guidelines are 15 cups per day for men and 11 cups per day for women (coming from a combo of food and drinks).

Tea and coffee are two of the most commonly consumed beverages in the world. Without all the fancy add-ins (like whipped cream, shaved chocolate, heavy cream), they can provide numerous nutritional benefits and help meet your daily fluid requirements. Green tea has been touted for helping prevent heart disease while coffee has been shown to have explosive amounts of cell-protecting antioxidants. Although studies have found that up to 3 or so cups of coffee or tea are okay, these drinks also tend to leach out calcium and iron, so try to keep it to that amount.

Milk provides 9 essential nutrients including protein, calcium, and vitamin D. The USDA's Dietary Guidelines recommended choosing low-fat or fat-free (AKA skim) milk to minimize saturated fat and cholesterol. Drinking milk and soy milk can also help you meet the recommended 3 servings of dairy each day.

Although most of your fluid requirements should be met with those listed above, these beverages can fit into your healthy lifestyle when sipped on in small amounts.

These include zero- or very low-calorie beverages sweetened with aspartame, sucralose, saccharine or stevia. Although these choices are better than sugar and calorie-filled sodas they shouldn't replace good old water.

Fruit juice, vegetable juice, sports drinks, vitamin fortified water and alcoholic beverages have their advantages and disadvantages. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a maximum of 4 fluid ounces of 100% fruit is recommended per day. Although you can get in many vitamins and minerals through vegetables juice, many processed varieties contain high amounts of sodium. Alcohol also should be consumed in small amounts with the recommendations being 1 serving per day for women and 2 for men.

The least recommended of all the beverages are those sweetened with sugar that don't provide many nutrients. These include sodas, fruit drinks, and many commercially sweetened lemonades. High-calorie smoothies should also be consumed sparingly. These drinks have been linked to weight gain and can increase your risk for type 2 diabetes.

Bottom Line: There are a wide variety of beverages that can fit into a healthful diet. Understanding which you should be drinking more verses less of can help keep you on the right track.

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby's full bio »



Comments:

  1. Kigrel

    There is something in this. Thank you so much for the explanation, now I will not make such a mistake.

  2. Kamuro

    Cool. I will add the blog to my favorites and advise my friends. Wait for new readers :) (Yeah. I'm waiting.)

  3. Adalhard

    The shame!

  4. Fercos

    wonderfully, very valuable message

  5. Epopeus

    This is the very precious coin

  6. Nakus

    It is very a pity to me, I can help nothing, but it is assured, that to you will help to find the correct decision. Do not despair.



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