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Kendal at Oberlin Blog

Forget the Diet Soda: Alternative Drinks to Stay Healthy Over Age 50

Posted by Molly Kavanaugh on Feb 1, 2015 12:28:00 PM


fruit_drinksAs adults try to monitor their weight, they tend to switch to diet soda vs. regular soda. However, it may be less calories, but not so healthy for you as you age. Swapping drinks just because they have fewer calories isn’t the best option when they can compromise your health. Several studies raise questions to how healthy it is to consume diet drinks regularly.

A study funded by the National Institute of Health showed drinking diet soft drinks regularly can increase the risk of a vascular event —or heart problem—by 43 percent. Another suggests diet drinks can increase the risk of depression for older adults. Even though many people drink diet beverages to lose weight, there is growing evidence that they may actually cause you to gain.  

5 Healthy Soda Alternatives

With some studies indicating thta diet drinks can do harm to your body if consumed on a regular basis, maybe you should look for alternatives beverages. Let’s explore a few options here:


1. Water: Water is the best alternative drink for you. Not only does water keep you hydrated and help keep your organs operating normally, it has no negative side effects. If water straight from the tap is not appealing to you, you can purchase a filter pitcher to keep in your fridge for a cold, refreshing drink. Still not excited? Try adding fruit, veggies, or herbs for a healthy and natural boost of flavor. Crush some lemon slices, fresh mint, strawberries, watermelon, orange, lime, cucumber or raspberries and add them to your water for a refreshing infusion of flavor.


2. Tea: Tea is a delicious and relaxing drink hot or cold. It’s an ancient beverage that’s been shown to have numerous health benefits. In general, there is black tea, green tea, and white tea. According to studies, all three have benefits ranging from weight control to reduced risk of cancer or stroke. If you want to sweeten your tea, use a little natural sweetener like honey. If you are watching your weight, limit the amount of honey you are using.


3. Juices: Overall fruit juices are a good in small amounts; however, many contain large quantities of sugar and calories. You can easily lighten up your fruit juice by adding a few ounces of juice to regular seltzer water. This is a option is excellent if you’re seeking something bubbly like soda. You can also reach for vegetable juice or a fruit and vegetable juice blend for a nutritious drink with less sugar. Be cautious and check the sodium content on veggie juices, as some can be high in salt.


4. Coffee: Another drink that is a good alternative is coffee. Coffee has been enjoyed by people for centuries. Consuming coffee in moderation can have several health benefits, including improved brain function and reduced risk of diabetes and stroke. Non-fat milk and a little natural sweetener can help make coffee more enjoyable if you do not like it straight and black. Another way to enjoy coffee is iced.


5. Milk: Milk can offer signigicant nutritional value, but it also has more calories than other alternative drinks. Regular lowfat milk, almond milk and soymilk offer substantial amounts of calcium, protein and other nutrients good for bone and muscle health, which is extremely important for older adults. If you’re looking for a lower-calorie drink, unsweetened almond milk can have as few as 30 calories in eight ounces.

 feed your body right, nutritional needs after 50

Topics: Healthy Aging

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