Liquid diets are popular among many age groups, including senior citizens. The reasoning is because beverages account for nearly 20 percent of the daily calories in American adults diets. But is this reasoning accurate? According to Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the most popular drinks contribute more added sugar to the American diet than any other food.
While it’s very important to stay hydrated, what you drink can make a big difference to your health. This is especially true for senior citizens — many of whom have weak immune systems and are taking prescription drugs for several illnesses. You want to stay away from excessive sugar and artificial ingredients.
So, let’s review some of the most most popular drinks.
Liquid Diets: Juice
A glass of orange juice looks great and is hyped as being good for you, because of it’s Vitamin C. But an 8-ounce glass provides around 100 calories and 24 grams of carbohydrates. It can send your blood sugar levels soaring. Instead of drinking it, eat the fruit instead. Whole fruits like oranges, apples and berries contain fiber, a satisfying nutrient that helps minimize a food’s impact on blood sugar.
Liquid Diets: Smoothies
A smoothie is delicious and very popular. But can it help you lose weight?
A medium (22-ounce) super-antioxidant smoothie contains 440 calories — that’s a whopping amount of calories. If you’re having them as a snack, you’re likely going to gain weight.
Just be aware of the ingredients in any smoothie you order — some are mainly sherbet and juice. Instead, if you just gotta have one, fill it with healthy stuff such as yogurt, avocado, seeds and nuts. Also add a vegetable. That’s a balanced healthy smoothie.
Look for drinks that include the same things you’d want in a balanced meal: protein (like yogurt, cow’s milk or soy milk, peanut butter), healthy fat (like avocado, seeds, nuts) and a vegetable (like spinach, kale or pumpkin).
Liquid Diets: Diet sodas
Diet sodas, contrary to advertising, are not healthy drinks. Women age 50 and older who drank two or more of such artificially sweetened beverages per day had a 23 percent greater risk of having a stroke. Also,16 percent more likely to die from any cause compared with other women, according to a 2019 study published in the journal Stroke. Other research has linked drinking diet soda with weight gain, particularly around the abdomen, which further increases your risk for heart disease.
For most adults, water is the best fluid replenisher. Sports drinks are designed to replace electrolyte minerals and carbohydrates that the body uses and sweats out during vigorous exercise. For most adults, and especially senior citizens, who don’t exercise vigorously, the extra sugar and carbs should be avoided.
All in all, water is your best drink. Enjoy!