Nearly more than half the population in America takes dietary supplements occasionally or routinely. However, there is an ongoing debate on whether these are absolutely needed or not. Studies reveal that a nutritious and well-balanced routine diet is sufficient to provide us the necessary vitamins and minerals.
But the problem arises when our diet is not a balanced one. And this is especially true for people with certain medical conditions. Such people will have a deficiency of one or more nutrients that can be dealt with effectively only with supplements. Here are some considerations.
Conditions that may require supplements
Pregnancy: In the case of pregnancy, women may have higher needs where special supplements such as Folic acid are taken. Folic acid helps in fetal development and prevents neurologic conditions like spina bifida from occurring. A prenatal vitamin with calcium and iron that has folic acid added to it is a good supplement for pregnant women. This helps them meet the needs of the growing fetus.
Older adults: Older age people do not absorb vitamin B12 as effectively as their younger counterparts. For instance, people who are under acid reduction inducing medication, there is a strong probability of the person to have B1 and iron deficiency and also a deficiency of calcium and vitamin D. Such people will need the benefits that supplements provide. A multivitamin tablet of high quality is necessary for such persons.
Medical conditions: Several medical conditions make people susceptible to deficiency of vitamins. For instance, in post weight loss surgical patients and those with ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, there is a higher need for several vitamins and minerals including Vitamin A, B, D, E and K, magnesium, copper, zinc, calcium and iron. Osteoarthritic people can find vitamin D supplement very useful.
There are several other conditions that are best treated using supplements like inflammatory conditions like arthritis.
Which supplements help?
Since not all types of vitamin supplements available in the market are of good quality, you have to choose the right supplements. For starters go for the supplements that are properly tested by reputed labs such as Consumer Lab, NSF International or US Pharmacopeia. Proper testing ensures the supplement has the right ingredient without any contaminating or toxic organisms. Gummy vitamins, for instance, may not be the highest quality choice and full of sugar and chemicals but some consider them to be convenient.
Knowing about the chemical constitution of the supplement will help in choosing the right supplement. You can consult your health care provider on the type of supplements you need, the appropriate dose and any interactions with other medications you are taking to avoid any ill effects.
In case of minerals and vitamin supplements, the daily value percent of every nutrient should be checked along with upper limit. This is because sometimes excessive intake of supplements can cause harm.
It is good for your health and wellbeing to take supplements along with your healthy and nutritious diet. By choosing the suitable supplement that is of good quality, you can boost your health and keep away the illnesses triggered by lack of proper vitamins and minerals.
Sometimes satisfying your thirst comes at a stiff price, in fact, what you drink matters as much and many times more than what you eat. So many drinks are unhealthy and if you are choosing to live, a healthy life and follow a healthy nutrition plan, then you need to choose drinks that are healthy as well. You should choose water, but you want something more.
There are many drink choices for you to choose from, and some of them are worse than others, in fact, you may be surprised by some of those that made this list of the worst drinks for your health.
Often times the drinks you think are okay or may even love are actually full of sugar, with lots of high fructose corn syrup, and lots of calories. Keep in mind that when it comes to calories it does not matter whether they are from food or something as seemingly harmless as a liquid, they all add to your waistline contributing to obesity and related serious health problems. Worse yet is that these high sugar drinks are typically devoid of any nutritional value, making them even more unhealthy.
Let’s take a look at the most unhealthy drinks and how they are harmful to your health.
22 Worst Drinks For Your Health
Soda includes fruit flavors and colas. Arguably, the absolute worst, most unhealthy drink ever made, soda is a concoction of chemicals and sugar, that’s it. Nothing else. No nutrients, nothing good, and actually all that is bad. For an 8 ounce Can Of Soda there are 150 EMPTY Calories and 39 grams of sugar…
Better Options: Club soda, Natural Sparkling Water
2. Diet Soda
Think diet soda is okay? Think again.
While the artificial sweetener, aspartame that is often found in diet soda is supposed to be a sugar substitute that supports weight loss, it may have the exact opposite effect.
Your body is intuitive, and so when your body takes in artificial sweeteners it recognizes it as something sweet being ingested, which makes it anticipate calories be drank, but since there are no calories in diet sodas the body reacts in confusion by stimulating the release of hunger hormones causing cravings for high-carb disasters, such as cookies, chips and other unhealthy junk food.
Better Option: Club soda, Natural Sparkling Water
3. Energy Drinks and Shots
When you turn over an energy drink, the nutrition label is absent and replaced with a supplement facts panel. These two labels look very similar, and to consumers, there may seem like there is no difference at all. Sadly, this isn’t the case.
U.S. News recognizes that while nutrition labels are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the supplement industry does not have to follow the same regulation. They have little oversight as to what they must disclose about their products. Many energy drinks don’t actually disclose the variety of stimulants that go into the product and will often list them as a “proprietary blend.”
This means that it is possible you could be drinking dangerous amounts of stimulants, or even stimulants that interact with your current medications and not even know it.
These drinks contain, among other ingredients, lots of caffeine, guarana, ginseng, taurine, ginkgo biloba, glucuronolactone, and sugar.
The Substance Abuse And Mental Health Services Administration reports that emergency room visits connected to energy drinks doubled in numbers from 10,068 visits in 2007 to 20,783 visits in 2011.
Adverse Effects Related To Energy Drinks:
The World Health Organization reports plenty of research that shows drinking energy drinks, with high-risk behavior, such as combining them with alcohol, is dangerous. One study of US College students discovered that the combination of alcohol and energy drinks resulted in a higher probability of adverse reactions as compared to drinking alcohol only.
Better Option: Natural caffeine sources, coffee, green tea, and black tea.
4. Sports Drinks
Sports drinks are used to replenish electrolytes lost during exercise or sporting activities, but the problem is most come with unhealthy ingredients: sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and lots of sodium. 8 Ounce Serving Contains:
Better Option: Natural Electrolytes Blends, Bai Drinks
Electrolytes balance bodily fluids and hydrate the body to greatly boost energy and you can skip the high sugar sports drinks with these naturally low sugar electrolyte boosters.
Natural Electrolyte Nutrients
Natural Electrolyte Foods
Drink It- Any of these ingredients can be blended into smoothies or juices. Add a teaspoon of salt to water to make a quick natural electrolyte boosting drink.
5. Frappuccinos And Other Coffee Drinks
Coffee has positive health benefits, but add to it lots of sugar, syrups, drizzles, whipped cream and artificial flavors and you turn a very good drink with positive health benefits, into something very bad.
Mochaccinos, Frappuccinos, and other coffee drinks often have as many as 1000 calories per serving; that offset all the great benefits, that coffee has to offer.
Bottled coffee drinks sold in many supermarkets and convenience stores nationwide are filled with sugar and fat from cream and milk and of course preservatives. It is quite obvious something has to keep them fresh since they sit on store aisles without requiring refrigeration.
Better Option: Drink your coffee black, or add ultra-filtered milk or a dash of fresh cream, and during the hot summer months try pouring it over ice for a healthy and refreshing coffee treat. Or just try a good cup of Bullet Proof Coffee
6. Bottled Nutrition Shakes
Many bottled nutrition shakes are not as healthy as they are marketed to be. They also include plenty of sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, and even hydrogenated oils (trans fats). Always read the labels, and check the list of ingredients.
Better Option: Get a high-quality casein or whey protein powder and make your own protein shakes.
7. Fruit Juice Drinks
Fruit juice drinks are disasters, filled with sugar, and some have high-fructose corn syrup and artificial flavors.
Better Option: Juice your own fruits and vegetables, when you can control the ingredients you control your health.
8. Bottled Smoothies
Bottled smoothies certainly are more convenient than making your own, but many are filled with lots of extra sugar, and plenty of calories. By using a sweetener such as the sugar form of fruit puree, manufacturers of these drinks get away with the “no sugar added” label misleading consumers into thinking they are getting a low sugar drink, when in fact that puree adds lots of sugar and extra calories.
Better Option: Make your own smoothies, so you get lots of nutrients and none of the bad.
9. Vitamin Infused Water
A product that is infused with vitamins must be a healthy beverage, right? Think again, as those vitamins come at a high price in the form of tons of needless sugar and other junk that you don’t need. 33 grams of sugar on average per bottle! That is only 3 grams less than soda!
Better Option: Take a multivitamin instead or simply eat more vegetables and other plant foods to get your vitamins.
10. Bottled Ice Tea
Bottled ice tea is another high sugar disaster, and some products have high fructose corn syrup and preservatives. Consider the fact that fresh tea spoils without refrigeration, so how many chemicals are keeping those products fresh on the shelves?
Better Option: Brew your own tea at home or buy all natural UNSWEETENED fresh brew tea products stored in the refrigerated aisles of the supermarket but be sure to check the list of ingredients. Try some healthy Detox Tea.
11. Flavored Milk
Love the strawberry, banana, and other flavored milk products? Think again!
The sugar in flavored milk is not the naturally occurring lactose found in regular milk but is granulated white sugar added during the production process.
Better option: Mash fresh strawberries at home and mix them into milk or make milk and berry smoothies.
12. Sweetened Nut Milk
Sweetened nut milk is loaded with unnecessary added sugar and therefore empty calories that contribute to weight gain. Always choose unsweetened nut milk. Nut milk is also lower in protein than animal or soymilk. Almond milk, for example, is only 2% real almonds, so they lack the vitamins, minerals and have less protein than eating nuts in their raw form.
Better option: Choose unsweetened nut milk or eat whole raw nuts
13. Regular Milk
Grain fed cow milk has more sugar, and less protein than grass fed cow milk. Grass fed milk is also higher in omega-3 fatty acids (heart health), and conjugated linoleic acid (improved immune system health, healthy bone mass, and reduced body fat). Oh, and if you ever taste organic grass-fed milk, you will never go back to the traditional stuff.
Better option: Ultra-filtered organic milk has only 5 grams of sugar (50% or less than regular milk) and double the protein of regular milk.
Your holiday tradition is loaded with fat, sugar, and cholesterol. 8 ounce serving contains
Is there anything more that needs to be said?
15. Ice Cream Milkshakes
Who doesn’t love a thick and creamy ice cream milkshake? But before you head to your favorite ice cream shop, think again.
And this is just one example, some others are far worse having 150 grams or more of sugar and double the calories.
Better option: Make your own cold smoothies using ice, nonfat Greek yogurt, and fruit. Or blend sugar-free nonfat frozen yogurt, filtered milk, and fresh berries or dark chocolate (60% cacao) for a healthier version of the milkshake.
16. Instant Hot Cocoa
Instant cocoa is another dismal disaster that turns a great thing bad. High-quality cacao contains key antioxidants that promote good health and prevent premature aging, but instant cocoa drinks add tons of sugar that make them very unhealthy.
Better option: Make your hot chocolate using high-quality cocoa powder and keep the sugar to a minimal.
17. Coffee Creamers
Here is a perfect example of the disastrous results that occur when food is made in a factory.
Better option: Organic Grass-fed milk, cream, or half and half
18. Packaged Coconut Water
Most of the coconut water products marketing today often contain lots more sugar (as much as two times) than you need or that you should ingest especially as compared to natural coconut water. Another point here is that packaged coconut water products include much less fiber than the real thing. One of the primary benefits of coconut water is potassium content, a natural electrolyte that helps hydrate your body. A study conducted by Consumer Lab discovered that two of the most popular brands of coconut water actually did not contain the amount of potassium electrolytes as were listed on their labels.
Better option: to re-hydrate after a workout, eat a banana and drink some fresh filtered water, eat some red, orange, or yellow fruits or vegetables, all of which are naturally high in potassium and magnesium (natural electrolyte) or make them into a fresh smoothie.
19. Sugary And High Fat Cocktails
Next time you’re at your favorite bar, consider this:
In general, the fanciest cocktails are usually the highest in calories and sugar.
Better option: hard liquor such as scotch, tequila, or vodka with club soda, water or fresh lemon, lime juice or Triple Sec. Red or white wine, Bloody Mary with fresh tomato juice and light beer are also better choices.
20. Slushies and Icees
Slushies and Icees can be full of sugar, chemical flavorings and colors, and loaded with calories.
And even worse, many fast food places and convenience stores do not clean the machines that produce these drinks as often as they should (if ever) and so your drink may wind up being filled with mold.
Better option: make frozen fruit pops at home, freeze any fruit you like and enjoy!
21. Frozen And Premixed Cocktails
Frozen and premixed packaged cocktails are loaded with empty calories (on average 280 or more per drink, some have more than a donut)and include sugar, preservatives and high fructose corn syrup!
Better option: Add muddled strawberries and fresh lemon slices as your mixer or simply opt for club soda added to your favorite hard liquor with fresh limes or lemon.
22. Ginger Beer
Ginger beer is one of the unhealthiest beers on the market with more calories than your average soda at 170 calories for each 7-ounce serving.
Better option: light beer
Avoid The Market Shelves
There’s more bad news. Consider for a moment that most fresh whole foods require refrigeration or they spoil. This goes for dairy, produce, meats, and drinks.
So, what do you think is keeping all those drinks found on the shelves in your local market? Plenty of chemicals, most of which you can’t even pronounce. Not something, you really want to put into your body.
Check The Nutrition Labels
Be sure to read the nutritional labels of any drinks you are choosing as you can quickly determine their sugar content, calorie counts, and nutritional value.
Final Thoughts on Drinks and Their Benefits
Does any of the above surprise you about many of these beverages marketed to the public today?
Perhaps they do, especially since some are advertised and marketed with kids and teens in mind.
What you drink matters as much as what you eat, and it’s really up to the consumer to take the time to read labels, investigate ingredients and nutritional data to make the best choices for the good health of you and your family.
Drink well and take care of you!
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