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.
Antioxidants help sop up damaging molecules called free radicals that are thought to wreak havoc and lead to heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and some types of cancer. In fact, tea is considered to be a “functional food” (a food that has health-promoting or disease-fighting properties apart from simply providing basic nutrients). A number of studies have shown that regularly drinking tea can lower the risk of heart disease. Black and green tea also may block the formation of carcinogens that could lead to various types of cancer. And a study released last year indicated that the polysaccharides in black tea may reduce the absorption of glucose, which spells good news for people with diabetes.
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.
It’s easy — the hardest part is squeezing the lemons. Extract the juice from 4–6 lemons (or 7 limes). Add the juice to about 4 cups of water (or more, depending on what strength you want). Refrigerate for about one hour. Add the sweetener of your choice, if desired. Serve over ice, garnished with lemon or lime slices. Then, enjoy! As the saying goes, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade!
Source URL: https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/blog/stocking-your-healthful-fridge-part-7/
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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