Stocking Your Healthful Fridge (Part 6)

Another heat wave seems to be upon us. It is summer, after all. Hopefully you’re staying hydrated, whether you feel thirsty or not. In the hot weather, it seems like the refrigerator is frequented mostly by people in search of something to drink. So, what beverages are in your fridge? Last week[1] we looked at some of the common nondairy milk drinks. This week we’ll look at water and other related drinks.


One of the concerns with a lot of beverages has to do with their nutritional (or should I say, lack of nutritional) content. Many soft drinks are considered to be “liquid candy” due to the amount of sugar and calories they contain. Back in the 1970’s, Americans got 6% to 8% of their daily calories from beverages; today, that figure is up to at least 21% (and possibly higher, since this information comes from data analyzed only up to 2002). The majority of beverage calories come from sugar-sweetened soft drinks, but milk, fruit juice, and alcohol also account for liquid calories, as well.

It’s not just calories to be concerned with, either. Sweetened beverages contain carbohydrate, which has to be accounted for if you have diabetes. Dietitians like to say that people with diabetes can eat (and drink) anything; while that’s certainly true, carbohydrate-laden drinks can eat up a big chunk of your carbohydrate allotment for the day, so it pays to be choosey.

According to guidelines issued by the Institute of Medicine, men should aim for roughly 15 cups of fluid a day and women should aim for about 11 cups a day (these figures include fluid from both beverages and food sources).

More on beverages next week!

  1. Last week:
  2. I wrote about enhanced waters:

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Amy Campbell: Amy Campbell is the author of Staying Healthy with Diabetes: Nutrition and Meal Planning and a frequent contributor to Diabetes Self-Management and Diabetes & You. She has co-authored several books, including the The Joslin Guide to Diabetes and the American Diabetes Association’s 16 Myths of a “Diabetic Diet,” for which she received a Will Solimene Award of Excellence in Medical Communication and a National Health Information Award in 2000. Amy also developed menus for Fit Not Fat at Forty Plus and co-authored Eat Carbs, Lose Weight with fitness expert Denise Austin. Amy earned a bachelor’s degree in nutrition from Simmons College and a master’s degree in nutrition education from Boston University. In addition to being a Registered Dietitian, she is a Certified Diabetes Educator and a member of the American Dietetic Association, the American Diabetes Association, and the American Association of Diabetes Educators. Amy was formerly a Diabetes and Nutrition Educator at Joslin Diabetes Center, where she was responsible for the development, implementation, and evaluation of disease management programs, including clinical guideline and educational material development, and the development, testing, and implementation of disease management applications. She is currently the Director of Clinical Education Content Development and Training at Good Measures. Amy has developed and conducted training sessions for various disease and case management programs and is a frequent presenter at disease management events.

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