Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Drink safely

Filed under: ,

Remember when everyone thought that fruit smoothies were healthy? To be fair, it's not that they were unhealthy (they did have real fruit in them, which is a good start), they just weren't as healthy as people tended to believe. The reason why was the extremely high number of calories and carbohydrates they contained.

So, smoothies became a little less popular -- replaced, by some, by trendy coffee drinks from Starbucks and Seattle's Best. Buuuuut....people soon realized that those drinks had just as much sugar and calories as the smoothies, not to mention a whole lot more fat, too. From there, it seemed like everyone just decided to stick to bottled water. Like comedian George Carlin aptly pointed out in one of his bits, it was like all of a sudden everyone became thirsty. As popular as water was, and still is, it seems to have gotten a little boring. This brought on the flavored waters like Propel and Vitamin Water. The tricky part here is that these flavored water have sugar in them, as well as some calories (though not nearly as many as smoothies and fattening coffee drinks). Oh yeah, and then the New York Times did a piece on Aquafina and Dasani, pointing out that their bottled waters are nothing more than purified tap water. The drink craze continues; the search for something tasty, refreshing, and healthy -- a troika of unreasonable qualities?

Well, not necessarily. While bottled water is still the best health and refreshment option (regardless of whether it is purified tap water or actually from a spring, like Evian and Poland Spring), you still kind of miss out in the taste department. So, to help you along, here's a look at how three relatively healthy, refreshing and tasty drinks stack up.

Starbucks Orange Creme Frappuccino Light: With half the calories of the regular version, this drink is a pretty safe choice. Somewhat similar in flavor to those delicious Orange Julius' they sell at the mall, the major difference, however, is that they don't have enough sugar in them to drive your blood sugar through the roof.

Jamba Juice Peach Perfection Smoothie: As far as smoothies go, this one is not that bad. With three servings of three kinds of fruit (peach, strawberries, and mangoes), this one will only tax you with about 200 calories. But, you're also getting 4 grams of fiber, as well as a number of vitamins and minerals from the fruit itself.

Seattle's Best Cold Brewed Vanilla Latte: If you read a recent post of mine, you'll see that there is mounting evidence that drinking caffeinated beverages daily can greatly reduce your risk of heart disease. So, right off the bat, this drink is healthy in that regard. As far as calories go, the key to keeping it to a mere 80 is to ask for skim milk and to use Splenda or Equal rather than regular sugar.

No comments: