5 Beverages to Avoid and Their Healthy Alternatives

October 3, 2014

Do you know the effects of sugary, diet, carbonated, energy, or artificial juice-based beverages? There are people who drink them every day but aren’t aware of their long-term health risks. Here are some harmful beverages to avoid and how to replace them healthier options.

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5 Beverages to Avoid

1. Sugary Drinks

White sugar doesn’t provide you with any nutrients and many nutritionists today consider it to be a poison. It has what are called empty calories, that besides contributing to weight gain, are a risk factor for developing Type II Diabetes and can damage your teeth.

Also, white sugar acidifies your blood and demineralizes your body. It steals minerals like calcium, which leaves your teeth and bones weaker every time.

Here are some healthy alternatives to white sugar:

  • Brown sugar
  • Honey
  • Molasses
  • Maple syrup
  • Agave syrup
  • Whole grain molasses (rice, barley, etc.)
  • Natural fruit syrup (apple, pear, etc.)

2. Diet Beverages

Diet beverages can be even more harmful than the ones with sugar because they contain artificial sweeteners that often include aspartame, which is potentially carcinogenic. Although they contain less calories, they are not a healthy option.

The best alternative you can find is stevia, a plant with many natural properties that sweetens much more than sugar and contains no calories. It has a special flavor, similar to licorice, that goes very well with herbal infusions.

On the contrary, if you think its flavor is too strong to use it as a sweetener, you can use refined stevia. Although it doesn’t have medicinal properties, it doesn’t contain harmful components for your health either.

Image of stevia leaf beverages to avoid

A very simple, light, and delicious option is lemonade with stevia. Grind an organic lemon cut into pieces with fresh water in the blender. Then strain it and add however much stevia you like. If you want, you can also add a little bit of mint or spearmint to it.

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3. Carbonated Beverages

Drinking carbonated beverages often increases your risk of contracting cardiovascular diseases, according to a study done by Boston University in the United States. For this reason, you should avoid drinking them, especially if you suffer from heart problems, have risk factors or have a family history of cardiovascular diseases.

In the long run, drinking these beverages regularly can cause chronic diseases of the kidneys, heart, or liver, as well as the ever more common metabolic syndrome, which includes all kinds of disorders (cholesterol, hypertension, high triglycerides, etc.)

4. Artificial Juices

Pre-prepared juices are not a healthy option for everyday life. If you drink them from time to time, they are a good alternative to sugary, diet, or carbonated drinks, but you shouldn’t get used to drinking them every day.

The fruits that are used in them are poor quality, and preservatives and sugar are added a lot of the time. Just by tasting an artificial juice you will notice the difference compared to a natural one, which shows that the manufacturing process is very different.

Preferably, you should choose refrigerated, squeezed, and non-concentrated juices, that are organic if possible and have no sugar. However, the healthiest option is to make your own natural juices.

These are the most vitamin and mineral-filled option, and you can make them with a blender, food processor, or juicer. You can try combinations with mint, ginger, cinnamon, etc.

Fresh squeezed carrot juice beverages to avoid

5. Energy Drinks

Drinks that have cola, guarana, and etc. contain stimulating substances that if consumed habitually can alter your biorhythms and your nervous system. 

Furthermore, it is especially important that children avoid them, especially if they have hyperactive or attention deficit tendencies. Additionally, anxious people or those who suffer from insomnia should definitely avoid them.

Another issue is coffee and tea. Although they contain caffeine, they also have beneficial properties for your health. In this case, it is a good idea to not abuse them and for people that suffer from insomnia or nervousness avoid them, especially after midday.

Although it’s hard to believe, the best energy drinks are natural juices. You can add supplements to them like:

We hope that this articles about beverages to avoid has been informative. Additionally, we hope it will help you make healthier chooses based on informed decisions.

Images courtesy of foilman, hebam3000, and food thinkers

 

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  • Butchko, H. H., Stargel, W. W., Comer, C. P., Mayhew, D. A., Benninger, C., Blackburn, G. L., … & Leon, A. S. (2002). Aspartame: review of safety. Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology35(2), S1-S93.
  • Goyal, S. K., Samsher, G. R., & Goyal, R. K. (2010). Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) a bio-sweetener: a review. Int J Food Sci Nutr61(1), 1-10.
  • Yudkin, J. (2013). Pure, White, and Deadly: How Sugar Is Killing Us and What We Can Do to Stop It. Penguin.