Stop. Rethink Your Drink. Go On Green

Drinks stoplightThis poster was near the checkout at Shaw’s on Ring Road in Boston. It is great that the City of Boston and the Boston Public Health Commission are trying to get people to eat healthier but they didn’t quite get this one right.

Definitely agree with avoiding the Red light drinks of Soda, Energy and Sport Drinks and Fruit Drinks but what about the Yellow and Green.

Let’s look at Yellow. Diet Soda. Should people drink Diet Soda occasionally? The Mayo Clinic website says that a reasonable amount of diet soda a day – like 2 cans – is okay.  However, the Washington Post in March of this year quotes a study that says diet soda can make you fat as you grow older. Uh Oh. So what do you do? When in doubt, you probably should avoid it and not have it occasionally.

What about 100% Juice? Is that okay occasionally? Well, Dr. Robert Lustig, from the University of California San Francisco and a reknowned expert on obesity and more specifically childhood obesity,  says that fruit juice is just a glass full of sugar and is essentially poison and may be worse for you than soda. This one seems clear. Fruit juice needs to be up with the Red Lights.  Eating fruit however is not a problem as all of the fiber you get in the fruit reduces the impact of all of the sugar.

So finally to the Green Light drinks of water and Skim or 1% Milk?  Can’t argue with water but what about that Milk. It turns out that when you take the fat out of milk you leave behind more and more concentrations of sugar. So Skim Milk is also approaching just another glass of sugar like the fruit juice above.  Dr. Frank Lipman over at the Voice of Sustainable Wellness says to avoid Skim Milk completely for this reason and more.

Thanks to the Boston Public Health Commission for taking a shot here but perhaps an update to more accurately reflect the research and realities around these beverages.

 

 

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