Healthier Beverage Tips

Soda pop accounts for more than 27 percent of Americans’ beverage consumption. Too many calories from pop may cause weight gain if you’re not physically active. Instead of drinking pop at meals or snacks, drink milk, water, or 100 percent fruit juices.

Juice products contain sugar and water. “100 percent fruit juice” contains naturally occurring fructose, or the sugar from the fruit. “Juice drinks” typically contain added sugar in the form of high fructose corn syrup. Your best bet is to read the label for the total amount of sugar and calories; the more sugar, typically the higher the calorie level. Remember that many fruit “drinks” contain far less essential vitamins and minerals than juice.

Beverage Facts

  • The average person consumes about 129 gallons of fluid per year. This includes water, milk, colas, beer, wine, etc.
  • More beer than milk is consumed in the United States. We average 34 gallons of beer per person opposed to 26 gallons of milk.
  • Americans spend an average of 297-dollars per person on alcoholic beverages annually.
  • If your nerves are on edge, try a glass of celery juice or tonic.
  • Food slows down the absorption rate of alcohol; you will not feel the effects as quickly as you would on an empty stomach.
  • Alcohol consumption has been linked to breast cancer in studies by Harvard University.
  • The liver must handle 90 percent of the alcohol ingested; the other 10 percent is excreted in the urine or expired in air.
  • The body uses 8 ounces of water to metabolize (break down) just 1 ounce of alcohol. Effects of dehydration may include dry mouth, hangovers, headaches and queasy stomachs.
  • Fatty foods will slow down the rate at which alcohol is absorbed into the general circulation. Any food will actually slow the rate down to some degree; fatty foods break down slower than the other foods.
  • Canned juices are usually an enriched product since the heat used in the processing destroys most of the vitamins.
  • If the fruit juice is labeled cold-pressed, it is a higher quality product with most of its vitamin content intact.
  • Scotch has been found to contain small amounts of nitrosamines (a carcinogen) as a result of the way malt barley is dried.
  • Studies show that three beers a day may control your cholesterol levels. It seems to cause an increase in the good cholesterol (HDL), however, so does moderate exercise in the same study. The two together do not work beneficially.
  • Those who drink one or two alcoholic beverages per day are less likely to die of coronary heart disease than those who abstain. Helps to reduce stress levels.
  • Some of the hangover problems are caused by cogeners (toxic substances caused by fermentation). Alcoholic beverages with the lowest levels of cogeners are vodka and gin. Some of the worst are bourbon, blended scotch and brandy.
  • An ounce and a half of 80 proof whiskey, a 5 ounce glass of wine and a 12 ounces can of beer all have the same amount of alcohol.
  • Food sensitivities may increase if you consume alcohol at the same time.
  • Red wine has been associated with stomach cancer. It was not determined in the study, however, whether the problem is from the grapes and the chemical quercetin, or as a result of the processing.
  • To improve the taste of tomato juice, pour it into a glass bottle and add one green onion and one stalk of celery cut into small pieces.
  • Hot drinks do not raise body temperature.
  • Watered down juices go under a variety of names: Orange juice drink, orange drink, orange flavored drink and orange juice blend.
  • Canned beer tends to start deteriorating in approximately three months; however, it takes five months when bottled.
  • A juice drink may contain up to 50 percent juice. An “ade” drink may contain up to 25 percent juice and a drink can have as little as 10 percent juice.
  • When making lemonade, put the lemons through a meat grinder. You will get more juice and it will have a richer flavor.
  • As a rule of thumb for almost all sauces or soups containing wine, use 1 tablespoon of wine per cup of sauce or soup.
  • To keep juice cold without watering it down, place a tightly sealed plastic bag of ice into the juice.
  • A lite beer may not refer to the fact that the beer is lower in calories, but may pertain to the color of the beer.
  • When serving fruit juices, lemonade or punch, try making ice cubes from the drinks. These will keep the drinks from becoming watered down.
  • Alcohol causes excretion of zinc, possibly contributing to prostate problems as a man ages. It also causes excretion of magnesium, which may lead to extreme nervousness.
  • Two glasses of white wine per day can supply you with half of your daily supply of chromium. Plain grape juice will work just as well.
  • Wine is composed of water, alcohol, various pigments, esters, some vitamins and minerals, acids and tannins. It does not remain in a constant state and is continually changing.
  • Fruit juices help to maintain a proper acid-base balance in the stomach.
  • Ulcers may be irritated by fruit juices.
  • Bourbon is too sweet to be used in most recipes.
  • Wines should not be used in tart or heavily seasoned foods.
  • Wine should be counted as part of the total liquid in any recipe.
  • To avoid curdling in recipes containing dairy products in which wine is added, try adding the wine before adding the dairy product, then keep the dish warm until served.
  • Brandy, sherry and whiskey will reduce the fishiness of a seafood recipe.
  • When heating wine, remember that wine will reduce from 1 cup to one-quarter cup in approximately ten minutes of cooking.
  • If you wish to taste the wine in your recipe, do not add the wine until you are near completion; the alcohol content will be lost to the cooking.
  • Keep smaller bottles to store leftover wine. The less space between the wine and the cork, the longer it will retain its freshness.
  • Wine should be used in cooking with the utmost discretion, since it should not dominate the taste. Just use it to improve the flavor of the ingredients.

Cola Facts

  • Cola seeds can be more than an inch long and weigh up to one-half ounce.
  • Cola seeds are bitter because they contain tannin and caffeine. The bitter taste gradually disappears because of the action of ptyaline, the enzyme in saliva that breaks starches into sugars.
  • In West Africa, cola seeds are chewed to ease hunger and give energy. They have a stimulant effect with few secondary side effects.
  • Colas were originally marketed as pick-me-ups.
  • Cola also has the property of making anything tasted after seem sweeter.
  • Did you know? Filling a vase of cut flowers with one part 7-Up to two parts water makes the flowers last longer and look healthier. The high sugar content in 7-Up nourishes the plants.

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