- Should you spring for bottled, or is tap just fine?
It’s the battle over water! Should you be dropping cash on bottled versions or is tap the way to go? We’re diving into this controversy and sprinkling you with all the facts.
There are different varieties of bottled water, depending on their source. Here is a rundown:
- Mineral water comes from an underground source and contains a certain amount of minerals and trace element like copper, zinc, and arsenic.
- Spring water is collected from a spring that flows naturally through the surface.
- Municipal water comes from a public source that is usually treated before it’s bottled. You may see it labeled as “purified water.”
Having bottled water available when you’re on the go is convenient and less messy (many reusable bottles leak), but recent studies conducted will make any bottle-loving person a skeptic.
According to a 2008 investigation conducted by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a variety of contaminants were found in every tested brand of bottled water. Although tap water is typically tested annually, bottled water doesn’t have to meet the same testing standards and they don’t have to disclose results of any contaminant testing conducted. After conducting this research, the EWG concluded that the “purity of bottled water cannot be trusted…[and] consumer confidence in the purity of bottled water is simply not justified.”
Also, bottled water has a larger carbon footprint than tap water and doesn’t contain any of the added nutrients found in tap water (like fluoride)—though you can find bottled water that has been fortified with fluoride. the problem is, over-consumption of fluoridated water can lead to fluorosis which causes a brownish discoloration on the teeth. It also costs thousands of times more than tap water.
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Who doesn’t love Starbucks’ holiday drinks? They have such fancy names and delicious ingredients. But the hidden calories . . . you won’t believe your thighs! Get the skinny before you order your next grande or venti holiday brew.
ORDER: Reasonable portions of tasty delights
Many folks look forward to the seasonal offerings at Starbucks. There’s nothing wrong with tasty caffeinated beverages, but many of Starbucks dressed-up drinks contain as many calories as we should be eating in one meal. Luckily, Starbucks gives you the power to take control of your order. You choose the size of your drink, type of milk, and whether or not you want whipped cream. When ordering a fancy-shmancy drink, count it as a snack and aim for no more than 200 calories.
Just to get some perspective, a grande (16-fluid ounce) cup of brewed coffee without sugar or milk contains 5 calories and is free of fat and sugar. Add ¼ cup of skim milk for an additional 15 calories. Now take a look at the numbers on some of the more popular holiday drinks: Before you order one of those yummy drinks, choose one with a reasonable amount of calories.
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- Are you getting enough fluids? Test your knowledge.
Last week you took the whole grain challenge; this week find out how much you know about fluids. Take the four-question quiz and score yourself (answers on the bottom). Good luck!
Test your knowledge now »
- Are your juice boxes safe? We've got the scoop.
A California-based environmental group found that juice drinks and packaged fruit contained lead above the allowable level. Find out what this advocacy group discovered, and what the FDA is telling consumers. So, should you be worried? We’ll let you decide.
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- Green Tea: Good or Bad?
There are countless questions dietitians are asked about green tea: Is it good for me? How much should I drink? Does it have caffeine? Will it help me lose weight? We’ve got the scoop on this popular beverage — here’s what you need to know.
Get the green tea facts »
- Start Small: Add Healthy Fluids to Your Diet
If you’re looking to eat healthier, completely overhauling your diet is not the answer — you’ll be back to your old habits in no time. Studies have shown that making small changes is the best way to create long-term habits. In this new series, we suggest small, easy steps you can take to become healthier. First up: Staying hydrated.
Get our easy tips for good hydration »
- The Contenders in Our Light Beer Taste Test
Cold beer just tastes better during the hot, steamy summertime. Light beers get a bad wrap on the flavor front, so we tested five popular brands (including the most requested ones from our Facebook fans) to see which brew tasted best. It was a hard job, but someone had to do it! Check out how your favorite brand measured up.
Get the taste-test results
You can’t go wrong with cool, sweet drinks on those dog days. Last week, I shared two classics: Berry Spritzer and Refrigerator Tea. Here’s another favorite to toast summer’s arrival. Made from two fruits that are coming into season, this “slush” is perfect for a party (you’ll want to up the portions) or an afternoon snack with the family.
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On a hot day, one of my favorite treats is a cool summer drink. I’m always guzzling water, but sometimes I crave a little more flavor. What I don’t want, however, is all the extra calories that traditional juices and sodas can bring. When it comes to sprucing up my chilled drinks, I find inspiration from seasonal ingredients at my farmers’ market — fruits, herbs, you name it. Plop a few in some home-brewed tea or spritzer and you’ve got a delicious treat. Here are two recipes to try.
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Do you start your day with a tall glass of orange juice? You’re not alone. Many people are downing hundreds of calories of fruit juice every day. Even if the label says “100% fruit juice,” it doesn’t mean this drink should be integral to your diet and here’s why.
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