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Stocking Your Healthful Fridge: (Part 7)
July 26, 2010
If you’re following the guidelines issued by the Beverage Guidance Panel (a panel of experts whose aim is to provide guidance on the risks and benefits of various types of beverages) in 2006, it means that you’re drinking at least 12 cups of fluid every day. (The question is — have you actually measured how much you drink?)
While I’m sure that many of you are water lovers and have made this your mainstay beverage, I also suspect that for some people, like myself, water or even seltzer doesn’t always do the trick. Sometimes you’re looking for more flavor or a different consistency. I know that I try to get plenty of water throughout the day, but I admit that an ice cold diet soft drink seems to be more refreshing and helps to perk me up. Do I drink diet soda all day? Definitely not. Nor do I make frequent forays to Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts for my Frappuccino or iced latte like some of my colleagues do.
As with most things in life, it boils down to achieving a balance — sometimes an Iced Cinnamon Dolce Latte hits the spot, and a couple of glasses of diet soda during the day is fine. However, there are other beverages that can offer a little bit more of a nutritional punch, and these are worth reaching for on a sweltering summer day.
However, before you rush to the store to stock up on bottles of iced tea, remember the cardinal rule: Always read the Nutrition Facts label. It’s no surprise that most bottled iced teas are loaded with plenty of sugar. Eight ounces of Snapple Lemon Tea or AriZona Iced Tea with Lemon contain about 70–80 calories and roughly 20 grams of carbohydrate. You can get “diet” iced tea, which contains approximately 0–10 calories and 0 grams of carbohydrate (but which also contains nonnutritive sweeteners such as aspartame and sucralose).
Or you can brew your own, which is easy and less expensive (and tastes better, too). Heat 8 cups of water and bring to a boil, then remove from the heat and let the water settle. Place 8 tea bags into a glass pitcher; pour the water over the tea bags and let steep for 4–10 minutes (if you’re using green tea bags, steep for about 2–2 1/2 minutes). Remove the tea bags and let cool, either at room temperature or in the fridge. Once it’s cool, add ice and lemon slices, if desired. You decide whether you want to add a sweetener of your choice. Fresh mint leaves make a tasty addition to iced tea. If you’re concerned about caffeine, use decaf tea bags.
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