When you eat at a restaurant- pick any one you like- check out their drink menus. Apart from the sugary alcoholic beverages, you’ll find deluxe milkshakes or smoothies, fresh (or not so fresh) fruit juices, and of course, a wide selection of sodas to choose from. Restaurants and fast food joints are banking on you to order your side of liquid sugar with whatever meal you’re getting. Unfortunately, many Western homes are bringing that dining out habit into their homes as well, accompanying all of their meals with a sugary beverage, whether they realize they’re doing it or not.
Just one can of soda a day can increase your risk of heart attack by 20%, your risk of diabetes by 25% and your risk of gout by 75% (1, 2, 3). And if you’re consistently drinking fruit juices with your meals, your sugar intake is still much higher than a healthy level. A single cup of unsweetened apple juice contains 24grams of sugar! (4) There’s clearly a need to re-think our drinks as a collective.
The best way to quench your thirst is with water- with no added sugars, preservatives, or artificial flavors, you’re giving your body exactly what it needs. The only problem is, your sweet tooth isn’t getting what it needs, and many people struggle to quit sugary beverages altogether because they can’t get rid of the demands of their tastebuds. Luckily, you don’t have to sacrifice flavor to break a sugar dependency. Start by infusing your water with carefully picked natural ingredients that not only add the extra burst of taste you’re craving, but pack an extra punch in the nutrition department.
Infused Water 4 Ways
Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Refined Sugar-free, Vegan
Yield: 4 liters
Mint & Cucumber water
- 2 mint sprigs
- 6’’cucumber, sliced
Pineapple & Ginger water
- 1 cup of diced pineapple
- 4’’ginger nob, sliced
Orange & Lemon water
- ½ orange, sliced
- 1 lemon, sliced
Grapefruit & Cayenne water
- 1 grapefruit, sliced
- ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- Place each ingredient in their own jar and fill it with water
- Put in the fridge and hydrate yourself. Enjoy!
(1) de Koning L, Malik VS, Kellogg MD, Rimm EB, Willett WC, Hu FB. Sweetened beverage consumption, incident coronary heart disease, and biomarkers of risk in men. Circulation. 2012;125:1735-41, S1.
(2) Malik VS, Popkin BM, Bray GA, Despres JP, Willett WC, Hu FB. Sugar-sweetened beverages and risk of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes: a meta-analysis. Diabetes Care. 2010;33:2477-83.
(3) Choi HK, Willett W, Curhan G. Fructose-rich beverages and risk of gout in women. JAMA. 2010;304:2270-8.
(4) SELF Nutrition Data. “Apple juice, canned or bottled, unsweetened, without ascorbic acid Nutrition Facts & calories”. Retrieved from http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1822/2 on August 10, 2017.
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