Stay Hydrated – Eat Your Fruits and Vegetables

Written by Kathryn Standing

Student Assistant, ISU Dietetics

 

Summer in Iowa always makes me think of trucks selling produce by the side of the road. They showcase fresh corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, cantaloupe, strawberries, and more. The grocery store produce department seems to be much more colorful, as a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables are in season. I never have a hard time finding vegetables and fruits that look appetizing in the summertime. An added benefit to loading up on vegetables and fruit in the summer: their water content.

It is recommended to consume the equivalent of 9-16 (8 ounce) glasses of water a day (depending on age, gender, and activity level) to stay hydrated. This can come from both beverages and foods. Fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet providing fiber, vitamins and minerals. Fruits and vegetables are also high in water content. This means eating a lot of fruits and vegetables reduces the amount you need to drink from water and other beverages. Food on average contributes 20% of your hydration needs. Most foods have some water content and therefore contribute slightly to your daily hydration needs. Other foods, such as oatmeal and soup, contain a lot of water and are good sources of hydration. Below is a list of some fruits and vegetables with high water content. While other produce provides hydration, these are some of the most common.

Food  Serving Size Amount of water as percentage of food weight  
 Lettuce, green leaf, shredded   1 cup  95%
 Celery, raw  1 medium stalk    95%
 Tomato, raw  1/2 cup  94%
 Grapefruit, white  ½ medium  91%
 Watermelon chunks  1 cup  91%
 Broccoli, raw, chopped  ½ cup  89%
 Carrot, raw, strips  ½ cup  88%
 Apple, with skin  1 medium  86%

Source: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Complete Food and Nutrition Guide, 5th Edition

It’s a good idea to eat water-rich foods and drink fluids at every meal to help you to stay hydrated.

How much water should you drink?

Written by Kathryn Standing

Student Assistant, ISU Dietetics

 

Welcome to Iowa in August! It’s hot! This time of year, we always go to the Iowa State Fair.

It is easy to over-do it on treats, but I can never resist sharing some funnel cake and lemonade with my family. It can get really hot walking around in the sun. I always make sure we have plenty of sunscreen and water. The recommendation is to drink close to 12 cups of water per day for women and 16 for men. When eating a balanced diet, 20% of you water comes from your food. This means women should drink 9 cups per day and men should drink 12. You need to drink more water when you’re doing activities outside in hot temperatures- such as walking around the Iowa State Fair. You should also try to drink extra in the winter (when there is less moisture in the air), during illness and during exercise.

Try to drink water every 15-20 min when exercising, don’t wait until you are thirsty! When you are thirsty, your body is already dehydrated. If working really hard or doing exercise lasting more than a couple hours, sports drinks could be helpful to replace water and electrolytes. If you are just doing moderate exercise, sports drinks are not necessary.

Other beverages count toward your daily requirement as well. If not drinking water, drink unsweetened drinks such as 100% fruit juice and milk. Coffee and unsweetened tea count too, though caffeine is mildly dehydrating and should be enjoyed in moderation. Best bet is to stick to water as much as possible. It is a good habit to carry a water bottle when you’re on the go and drink a glass with every meal.

Skip the Sugary Drinks

What are the go-to drinks around your house? I am wrapping up our series on the 5210 campaign this week with a look at sugary drinks. 

Our friends at the 5210 campaign encourage 0 sugary drinks and drinking more water instead. We at Spend Smart. Eat Smart. are big fans of enjoying food and it is rare for us to encourage readers to eat or drink ‘zero’ of something. However, sugary drinks do contribute a lot of calories and no feeling of fullness. They cost you money and really give nothing that your body needs in return.

Drinking sugary drinks like fruit punch, soda, lemonade and sports drinks in childhood is associated with overweight and obesity, less milk consumption and dental cavities. If you or your kiddos are big fans of sugary drinks, try looking at them as treats. Consider setting a goal of replacing one per day with water or milk. Having a sugary drink on occasion as a special treat is a way to enjoy them without the health problems associated with drinking them as a daily habit.

Have you been successful with reducing sugary drink consumption at your house? Share what worked for you on our Facebook or Twitter this week!

Christine Hradek

Christine Hradek

Christine Hradek is a State Nutrition Specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. She coordinates ISU’s programs which help families with low income make healthy choices with limited food budgets. Christine loves helping families learn to prepare healthy foods, have fun in the kitchen and save money. In her spare time, Christine enjoys cooking, entertaining and cheering on her favorite college football teams with her family and friends.

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A Healthier Me in 2016: Water

ThinkstockPhotos-122401240This month on Spend Smart. Eat Smart. we have been talking about setting goals in the new year.  To be completely honest, setting goals is really hard for me right now with a new baby at home.  But, in the spirit of the new year, I am going to set a public goal and you can all hold me accountable for sticking with it.

So, here it is: This year, I will drink 12 cups of fluids each day.

Drinking enough fluids is hard for me because I do not remember to do it. Then, by the end of the day, I am thirsty and I have a headache. Since I am nursing my baby, I need to make sure to get enough fluids for the both of us. I need to have enough fluids to make enough milk for my baby while at the same time preventing myself from getting dehydrated. My plan is to drink one cup of milk with each meal and then keep my water bottle within reach for the rest of the day. Thankfully, my water bottle has measurements on the side, so I know how much water I am getting throughout the day.

I have chosen this goal because I know that getting enough fluids, especially water, is essential to overall health. Most people need 10-15 cups of fluid each day. We get about 20% of that fluid from the foods we eat, especially fruits and vegetables. We have to drink the remaining 80%, which is about 8-12 cups.  I need to drink about 12 cups (the upper limit) because I am nursing; this amount is not necessary for most people.

I think it is going to take some time, but, with a little practice, I am confident that I can meet my goal. I wish you the best of luck on the goal you have set for yourself in the new year!

Justine Hoover

Justine Hoover

Justine Hoover is a Registered Dietitian and mom who loves to cook for her family.

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Water 2.0

fruit water strawberry lemon drinksThe weather is heating up and our humid Iowa summer is just around the corner. It’s easy to turn to sugary drink mixes, sports drinks and juice boxes in the summer because they’re convenient and tasty. The problem with these is that they can be really expensive and also high in sugar. Ads would have us think that whenever we sweat we need to have a sports drink to recover. Thirst is a sign that your body needs to be hydrated, but water will do the trick unless you are doing a super intense workout!

If you’re like me, plain old water may not be for you. I like to improve it a bit and add a little flavor! Here are some Water 2.0 ideas to try out this summer.

  1. Freeze 100% juice in ice cube trays. Add it to plain water for a kick of fruit juice flavor for less sugar and calories than a full glass of juice.
  2. Put cut up fruit in a large pitcher of water in the refrigerator – it only takes a small amount of fruit (think one sliced lemon or lime) to flavor a large container of water.
  3. Make water as easy to grab as a juice box by keeping reusable bottles in the fridge where little hands can reach them.

The USDA 10 tips nutrition series has helpful recommendations about making beverage choices for your family. Can you guess what tip #1 is?

Happy Summer!

Christine Hradek

Christine Hradek

Christine Hradek is a State Nutrition Specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. She coordinates ISU’s programs which help families with low income make healthy choices with limited food budgets. Christine loves helping families learn to prepare healthy foods, have fun in the kitchen and save money. In her spare time, Christine enjoys cooking, entertaining and cheering on her favorite college football teams with her family and friends.

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Why pay for something that is free?

Everyone knows staying hydrated is important, especially during periods of physical activity and in warmer weather. Most people agree that drinking water is better than buying soft drinks.

What I do not understand is the growing trend toward bottled water. Why do smart people pay for something that is free? Is it for the convenience of carrying a bottle around? Or the taste? Or the status of higher priced waters? Or is it the mistaken notion that the bottled water is healthier?

Many times the expensive bottled product is actually coming from municipal water supplies, just like tap water. While bottled water providers advertise a purified, fresh product, the reality is that these companies are less regulated than municipal water suppliers.

What is the cost difference?

Tap water costs less than a cent per glass. The cost for bottled water depends on the brand and how you purchase it. Even if you can get a 16 ounce bottle for $.30 that adds up to $2.40 a gallon.

Most of the cost for bottled water is not the water—it’s the bottling, packaging, shipping, marketing, retailing, other expenses, and profit. In Iowa gas is about $3.50 a gallon. If you pay $.80 for your bottle water you are paying the same for water as you are for gas.

What about the effects of all that plastic on the environment?

According to the Container Recycling Institute, Americans buy an estimated 34.6 billion single-serving (1 liter or less) plastic water bottles each year. Almost eight out of ten end up in a landfill or incinerator. Hundreds of millions end up as litter on roads and beaches or in streams and other waterways. Taxpayers pay hundreds of millions of dollars each year in disposal and litter cleanup costs.

 

Thirsty?

As the weather starts getting warmer, having something cold and tasty to drink is on my mind a lot.  After taking my dog for a walk, playing with my son at the park, or working in the yard, I am thirsty for something cold.  The water that comes out of the tap is just not cold enough, so what is a girl to do?

When we are thirsty, water really is the perfect choice.  It keeps us hydrated and healthy, it has no calories, and it is inexpensive.  Here is a comparison of some drinks I found (costs are from Central Iowa, April 2012):

Beverage Calories Per 8 ounces Grams of Sugar per 8 ounces Cost Per Gallon
Tap Water 0 0 $0.00435
Bottled Water 0 0 $1.57
Sugar-Free Drink Mix 2 0 $2.59
Sports Drink 50 14 $4.19
Regular Soda 100 27 $4.44
Diet Soda 0 0 $4.44
Bottled Tea 0-90 0-23 $8.32
Energy Drink 0-140 0-31 $13.48
Orange Juice 110 24 $7.61
100% Fruit Juice 120 29 $7.64
Lemonade (from mix) 60 16 $1.50
Juice Boxes 90 21 $4.80
Reduced Fat Chocolate Milk 180 24 $4.17

If plain water is not for you, here are a few ideas to try:

  • Freeze juice in ice cube trays and cool down your glass of water with flavored ice cubes.
  • Put cut up fruit in a pitcher of water in the refrigerator – the flavor of the fruit will flavor the water.  Oranges, lemons, limes, kiwi and berries work really well for this.
  • Put water in a special cup or water bottle and store it in the refrigerator so it is easy to grab in a hurry.  Sometimes water tastes great plain when it is in a special cup.
  • Add low-calorie drink mixes (such as Crystal Light) to your water.

Check out choosemyplate.gov this May through August to see what the USDA is doing to promote drinking water instead of sugary drinks.

Justine Hoover, MS, RD, LD

Justine Hoover

Justine Hoover

Justine Hoover is a Registered Dietitian and mom who loves to cook for her family.

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Drink Water – It’s Free and It Doesn’t Make You Fat

During the summer many of us grab drinks to take on walks, hikes, bike rides, picnics, cookouts, etc.  Many times those drinks are loaded with sugar and calories.  In fact, the new 2010 Dietary Guidelines indicate that added sugars contribute an average of 16% of the total calories in American diets.  And 36% of those calories come from soda, energy drinks and sports drinks (see the chart below).  That’s more than candy, ice cream, cakes, and cookies combined.

Strong evidence shows children and adolescents who consume more sugar-sweetened beverages have a higher body weight compared to those who drink less of these beverages.  Moderate evidence also supports this relationship in adults.

Sugar-sweetened beverages provide excess calories and few essential nutrients to the diet.  Reduce the intake of sugary drinks by:

  • Drinking fewer sugar-sweetened beverages
  • Consuming smaller portions
  • Substituting water and other beverages with few or no calories for sugar-sweetened beverages

If you want to get an idea of how many teaspoons of sugar and calories there are in various beverages, play Interactive Beverage Guide to Sugars.   Show the website to your children and encourage them to decrease the sugar they get through sweetened beverages.

Sources of added sugars in the diets of the US Population ages 2 years and older

Sources of added sugars in the diets of the US Population ages 2 years and older

If you would like a closer look at this chart go to: http://www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines/dga2010/dietaryguidelines2010.pdf and then to page 29 where you will find FIGURE 3-6 Sources of Added Sugars in the Diets of the US Population Ages 2 years and Older.

pointers from Peggy

Trim Your Waistline and Your Budget – Three Simple Steps!

Woman measuring waist with tape measureWith the holidays behind us its time to find ways to trim some of those extra pounds and pay off some bills.  It’s possible to eat healthier and stick to a budget.  Here are three ways to trim your food spending without sacrificing good nutrition.

1. Before you go to the store know what you are going to buy.  First, check your refrigerator and cupboard.  Do you already have items on hand for this week’s meals?  Then review local flyers for weekly specials.  No need to buy a newspaper; most stores have their ads online.  Include some of the sale items in your weekly menu.  Finally, make a list.  It’s critical to help manage your grocery budget; otherwise, it is easy to be swayed by unhealthy foods and things you don’t really need this week.

2. Back to Basics.  Fill your grocery cart with fruits and vegetables, meat, beans, chicken, fish, pasta, brown rice, whole grain bread, basic cereals like oatmeal, non-fat or low fat milk, and yogurt.  Skip the high profile foods like granola, power bars, chips, special drinks, and juices.  Package your own single size servings of  cheese and crackers and granola bars. (Peggy’s Pet Peeve …. Frozen vegetables are a good buy because you can use only what you need and the rest won’t spoil. Now, in the name of convenience, it’s hard to find a bag that isn’t a “steamer” bag.  The cost of the bags hasn’t changed, but now there are only 12 ounces instead of 16.)

3.  Drink Water.  Stop buying soda, juice and sports drinks, and switch to plain water or water with lemon.  Consumption of sweetened beverages for women in the U.S. has more than doubled, at a cost of 300-400 calories a day and $500 a year.  Soda, fruit drinks, sports beverages, lattes, smoothies, and sweetened iced tea are thought to be one of the main contributing factors to our epidemic of obesity.  Invest in two (2) refillable water bottles for each member of the family so there is always a cold one in the refrigerator.  Label them with names so you can reuse the containers.

-pointers from Peggy

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