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Kaylor: Stay hydrated with smart beverage choices

By Staff | Aug 15, 2014

In the heat of the summer, don’t forget to keep your body hydrated. What you drink is as important as what you eat. Keep these 10 tips from choosemyplate.gov in mind as you beat the summer heat!

1. Drink water instead of sugary drinks when you’re thirsty. Regular soda pop, sports drinks and other sweetened beverages provide more calories than most people need.

2. Pay attention to your thirst. Everyone’s needs are different, and most of us get enough water from the foods we eat and the beverages we drink. Drink plenty of water if you are very active, live or work in hot conditions or are an older adult.

3. Save money. Drink water from the tap at home or order water when eating out.

4. Manage your calories by drinking water between your meals. Most people take in about 400 calories per day in beverages.

5. Make water, low-fat or fat-free milk, or 100 percent juice an easy option in your home. Have reusable ready-to-go containers filled with water or healthy drinks available in your refrigerator.

6. When you choose milk or milk alternatives, select low-fat or fat-free milk or fortified soy milk. Older children, teens and adults need 3 cups of milk or milk products per day, while children ages 4 to 8 need 2 cups and children 2 to 3 years old need 2 cups.

7. When water just won’t do, enjoy the beverage of your choice but cut back. Select smaller cans, cups or glasses instead of large options.

8. Take water on the go. Fill a clean, reusable water bottle and use it to quench your thirst throughout the day.

9. Use the Nutrition Facts label to choose beverages at the grocery store. Compare calories, fat, total sugars and other nutrients when you make your choice.

10. Compare what you drink. Check out “Food-A-Pedia” on choosemyplate.gov/SuperTracker to compare calories, added sugars and fats in your favorite beverages.

Melon Salsa

The water in fruits and vegetables counts toward your fluid needs. Here’s a tasty, hydrating summer salsa perfect to pair with grilled meat and veggies.

2 c. watermelon, seeded and chopped

1 c. cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped

c. red or white onion, chopped

2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro or mint leaves, chopped (optional)

1 small jalapeo pepper, seeded and finely chopped (or substitute hot sauce to taste)

c. lime juice or lemon juice

1 Tbsp. brown sugar

In a medium-sized bowl, stir together all ingredients. Taste and season with more lemon or lime juice and sugar if needed. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes.

Makes six servings. Each serving has 30 calories, 0 grams (g) fat, 8 g carbohydrate,

0 g protein, 0.5 g fiber and 0 milligrams sodium.

– Julie Garden-Robinson, Food & Nutrition Specialist, NDSU Extension FoodWise Newsletter)

– Information compiled by Carolee Kaylor

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