Posts Tagged ‘beverages’

A designated “day” seems to exist for everything imaginable. June 10, 2016 is National Iced Tea Day.

The history of tea goes back some 5,000 years. Recipes for cold spiked punches, made mostly from green tea, surfaced in the late 1700s. Nearly 100 years later, recipes of the iced tea we love today appeared in cookbooks. While iced tea is great unsweetened, early versions were mostly sweetened and often served  with lemon.

Iced tea became a national favorite after Richard Blechynden, a tea merchant, decided on a hot day at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis to distribute free iced tea instead of his usual hot tea. This iced beverage immediately became a hit and has become one of the most popular drinks around the world. Some 85 percent of tea drinkers want theirs iced.

Celebrate this national day with a tall glass of refreshing and healthful iced tea.


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Water, often referred to as the “gold standard” beverage for weight loss, has no calories. This ideal beverage provides numerous health benefits. Will it help you lose weight?

Studies from Germany at the turn of this century found that water increased metabolism—the rate the body burns calories. However, results were minimal and had little effect on weight. In a later study, participants who drank two cups of water right before a meal ate from 75 to 90 fewer calories than the control group. All consumed a low-calorie diet. After twelve weeks, those who drank water before mealtime lost 15.5 pounds compared to 11 pounds for those who didn’t drink water before meals. The reason for more weight-loss may be simple. Those who filled up on water may have experienced less hunger, and therefore they ate fewer calories.

Do other non-caloric drinks serve the same purpose? A 12-week study comparing water and beverages with non-nutritive sweeteners (NNS) found that those using NNS lost significantly more weight than the group who drank water. Participants drank at least 24-ounces of either beverages with NNS or water. Researchers allowed the NNS participants to include additional water as desired but restricted the water group from beverages with NNS. Both groups ate a low-calorie diet. While those who used NNS lost more weight, they also benefitted from a side effect of lower total cholesterol levels and LDL cholesterol.

Recent posts on electronic mailing list (EML) by experienced registered dietitians claimed that clients who substituted beverages with NNS for those with sugar lost weight. Should we stop drinking water and switch to NNS? No. Water serves a viable health purpose and the jury remains out on the overall health effects of NNS.

What should you do? While water remains the “gold standard,” other non-caloric beverages are acceptable in helping to lose weight—coffee and tea served without sugar or drinks sweetened with non-nutritive sweeteners. The main objective is to increase fluids while decreasing sugar. Try it. It works.

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