Day 179: To Drink Calories or Not ?

As I have aged one of the ways I’ve conserved calories and prevented unwanted weight gain is by not drinking calories. During the last few years of this process of aging easily, comfortably and hopefully gracefully most of the beverages I drink are calorie free: lemon water,  black coffee (or with stevia), the recommended green tea, water, water, water, herbal tea in the evening with or without stevia. Several times a week I drink a glass of unsweetened almond milk–sometimes with cinnamon, a teaspoon of cocoa powder and stevia.

Beers and shandy’s (with Lite beer to save calories and Sprite) and root beer are saved for holidays and parties. Wine is saved for special occasions or celebratory dining. I order Cappuccinos (Stevia and almond milk) on holidays and weekends and on the two evenings I am teaching 9 to 10 students in a row. I feel cozy and comforted by them.

All of this is working for me. At my last physical my GP was adamant that juice drinking should stop for me and for everyone. The current wave of medical opinion is to eliminate juices from the diet. Rather the advice is to eat the fruit for the experience of “toothiness” and to take in the fiber.

From the article in The Washington Post entitled: “People Think Juice Is Good for Them. They’re Wrong.”

“Whole fruit is healthy, and juice comes from fruit, so it must be healthy, too. But when you make juice, you leave some of the most wholesome parts of the fruit behind. The skin on an apple, the seeds in raspberries and the membranes that hold orange segments together — they are all good for you. That is where most of the fiber, as well as many of the antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals are hiding. Fiber is good for your gut; it fills you up and slows the absorption of the sugars you eat, resulting in smaller spikes in insulin. When your body can no longer keep up with your need for insulin, Type 2 diabetes can develop.

… when you drink your calories instead of eating them, your brain doesn’t get the same “I’m full” signal that it does from solid food …” 

I certainly agree that juice cleanses can be helpful. However I have seen incidences when prolonged juice cleanses had dangerous emotional and mental results. I would suggest caution and help from a dietitian if you choose that route.

Whatever you are eating or drinking may it add to your health!

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