Non-Alcoholic Beverages & Health

Non-Alcoholic Beverages & Health

Non-Alcoholic Beverages & Health
Beverages of the non-alcoholic variety include: juices, sodas, milk, tea, coffee and energy drinks to name a few. While these drinks have a variety of health benefits, it is helpful to lookout for the ones that are low in sugar. Sodas and artificially sweetened juices are high in sugar and can pack on the pounds. Plus many beverages contain caffeine, which can have adverse effects as high doses. Many beverages provide great resources of antioxidants, nutrition and vitamins.

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    A answered

    Despite the belief that soy milk must offer a variety of health benefits, that is not accurate. It is low in saturated fat and cholesterol, but has essentially the same calorie and protein/carbohydrate/fat profile as regular cow's milk. The primary sugar in soy milk is sucrose vs galactose in milk and dairy products. Those with lactose intolerance have no problems digesting soy milk.

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    A Nutrition & Dietetics, answered on behalf of

    A soy beverage is prepared by grinding soybeans. Many soy beverages are fortified to increase the calcium. Check the nutrition facts label for at least 30% (300 milligrams) calcium to be equivalent to 1 cup of cow’s milk. The amount of calcium varies between brands. Soy milk tends to be slightly lower in protein (2 -4 grams) than cow’s milk and may have little vitamin A or D unless fortified. Soymilk does not contain lactose therefore those who have lactose intolerance can use soymilk in place of cow’s milk.

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    A , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered
    This is a tricky one. You have to choose the right kind of soy milk to reap soy’s true benefits. Soy milk is the liquid residue of cooked soybeans. However, many types of soy milk on the market are processed and not made with real soy beans. Fresh soy milk is best, and available at certain health food stores. If this isn’t easily found, you want to choose whole-bean soy milk to avoid one made from soy protein or soy isolate.

    Also, be wary of a far-off expiration date. While it may seem like a good deal, the further out the expiration date, the more likely the soy milk will contain additives to extend its shelf life. You will also want to check the label for hidden or added sugars. Look for brown rice syrup or evaporated cane juice, especially if they are one of the first ingredients listed. One cup of this kind of soy milk can easily wind up being 100 calories more than a cup of skim milk.
    This content originally appeared on doctoroz.com
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    Soy and soy-based foods contain phytoestrogens and their consumption at high levels in many countries has occurred for decades with no problems. When the possibility of the phytoestrogens in soy to reduce certain types of cancers and improve other health parameters was learned, this opened the door to specific foods and supplements to provide these substances. Data on the benefits is inconclusive and long-term safety of high dose supplemental phytoestrogens is not known for certain. However, high soy food-based diets have a long history of safety and certainly 1 or 2 servings/day would not be harmful (and possibly helpful) to a vast majority.

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    A Nutrition & Dietetics, answered on behalf of

    Many soy beverages are fortified with calcium carbonate to increase the calcium. Check the nutrition facts label for at least 30% (300 milligrams) calcium to be equivalent to 1 cup of cow’s milk. The amount of calcium varies between brands from 80-500 milligrams calcium/1 cup serving) so you really need to check the label. Soy milk fortified with calcium can be a great alternative for those with lactose intolerance.

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    A , Internal Medicine, answered
    Soy and soy milk do contain molecules that interact with estrogen receptors and therefore have weak, estrogen-like effects. However, because these effects are weak, the molecules may actually act like anti-estrogens by competing with the body's natural estrogens when estrogen levels are high. For this reason, soy products have been hypothesized to reduce the risk of breast cancer. The evidence isn't conclusive, but there's some suggestion that soy consumption during childhood may reduce risk of breast cancer later in life. Soy milk or other soy products may also reduce risk of prostate cancer, but again nothing conclusive -- and we don't know about the effects of consumption during childhood on prostate cancer risk.

    Regular cow's milk contains many hormones, including estrogens, and we really don't understand their long-term effects.

    So there's a lot to be learned. But there's also the reality that for centuries in some civilizations, people have been consuming large amounts of soy products regularly throughout life without apparent adverse effects. I don't think children need to avoid soy milk. Still, where there's uncertainty, moderation is a good policy, so limiting children to drinking one or two glasses of soy milk a day makes sense.
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    A Urology, answered on behalf of
    Whether or not drinking soy milk affects hormone levels in men is a tough question.  If you're just drinking soy milk and only get a little bit of soy in your overall diet, it may be beneficial.

    Soy is a phytoestrogen. Your body treats certain molecules in soy like estrogen. In men, estradiol (a form of estrogen) is associated at a certain level with being heart healthy. Just don't go overboard. In moderation, soy is absolutely fine. However, if you're drinking soy shakes and have a high soy protein intake, then that might be starting to push the edge.

    High estrogen levels cause lower testosterone levels.  An estrogen-testosterone imbalance in men can affect sex drive.  You must eat a lot of soy to affect that estrogen balance, however. I don't recommend cutting all soy out of your diet.
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    A , Internal Medicine, answered
    Liquid sugars, which are found in soft drinks, sports drinks, sweetened iced teas, and sweetened waters, have no benefits for health and are clearly linked to higher risk of obesity, diabetes, and perhaps heart disease. Like refined grains and sugars in foods, liquid sugars cause harmful spikes in your blood sugar and insulin, and liquid sugars also cause you to be hungrier and eat more. Natural (beet or cane) sugars have the same effects as high fructose corn syrup (all contain about 50% fructose), and there is no reason to include these in your diet. Skip the sugary drinks and have some unsweetened tea or sparkling water instead.
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    A , Nutrition & Dietetics, answered
    What are the health benefits of coconut water?
    Coconut water is touted as a natural sports drink; it's full of potassium and great for hydration. In this video, registered dietitian Keri Glassman, RD, discusses the benefits of coconut water, and what to watch out for if you choose to drink it.
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    Water is almost always the preferred fluid for a child to drink when exercising. Sports drinks contain electrolytes that help with rehydration. However, they are also filled with sugars, which increase your child's risk for obesity and diabetes. Professional athletes lose many more electrolytes and calories; therefore, sports drinks benefit them. For non-professional athletes, water is better.