How often do you drink? Speaking of drinking, we don’t necessarily mean booze, but drinking in general. Albeit water, beverage, soda, and of course, some booze. Nonetheless. We all have that occasional habit of drinking. Who doesn’t? A little bit of popping a soda here and there, a spiced latte, some shots… You’re not alone. If this is your regular habit, hold on fast, you could be causing your body so much damage than just enjoying sugar — especially if you’re of age. According to the dietary blog Eat This, Not That, here are some drinking habits that registered dietitians say you need to quit if you’re 50 plus.
Related media: What Happens To Your Body When You Stop Drinking Soda?
Drinking Too Much Sugar
Sugar is not food for you. Period! And, do you need a crash course about what it does to your body, especially if you’re over 50?
As Megan Roosevelt, registered dietitian/nutritionist (RDN), points out:
“While moderation is key for healthy eating, consuming too much sugar in one drink is something one should be mindful of, especially those over the age of 50. This is because traditional sugar includes no nutritional benefits and instead may increase the risk of obesity, heart disease and insulin resistance — a key player in developing type 2 diabetes.”
“A diet high in sugar may also contribute to mood disorders and increase the risk of dementia, high blood pressure, liver disease, certain types of cancer,” she added.
Overindulging In Alcohol
“Alcohol is often considered ‘empty calories,’ meaning that it provides the body with calories yet no nutritional value,” says Roosevelt, also founder of Healthy Grocery Girl and partner at Purecane. “Even alcohol options with no sugar may contribute to weight gain due to the fact that liquid calories lack fiber, protein, fat or any nutrients that would contribute to feeling full and satisfied. This can lead to excess caloric intake and even skipping out on a more nutritious option in place of that second glass of beer or wine.”
Not Drinking Enough Water
This is another very important habit most people take for granted, says Dr Lisa Young, PhD, RND, and the author of ‘Finally Full, Finally Slim.’
“So often we worry about drinking too much soda and alcohol as a problem for those over 50, but not drinking enough fluids, in particular, water is equally problematic. But as she points out, “not drinking enough water can lead to dehydration as well as constipation,” While eating high fiber foods is important to help prevent constipation, fiber works best when it’s paired with enough water. Add lemon, mint, or even a splash of your favorite juice [to] help make water more appealing.”
Drinking Too Much Sodium
“People over the age of 50 or 55 are already at increased risk for high blood pressure and can increase their risk by consuming drinks high in sodium,” says Shannon Henry, RD at EZCare Clinic. “High blood pressure can contribute to health problems such as cardiovascular diseases, and strokes. In addition, a high intake of sodium increases the flow of calcium in your urine, which causes your body to excrete calcium from your bones.”
“Calcium deficiency is often a concern for women,” Henry continues, “especially if women over the age of 50 are left untreated after menopause, which can eventually lead to low bone density or osteoporosis.”
She warns that anyone well over 50 should avoid fruit juices, sports drinks, energy drinks, and canned soups.
Ordering Mixed Drinks
According to the book of Isaiah, “woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine, and valiant men in mixing strong drink.” [English Standard Version]. And it seems science also confirms this.
“Ordering or making mixed drinks contains soda, sugar, syrups,” says Catherine Sebastian, RD, certified dietitian/nutritionist (CDN). “All these additives add calories and are high in sugar, and as our body gets older, there is an increased risk of getting type 2 diabetes where risk factors are attributed to lifestyle habits.”
Drinking Alcohol With Medications
Don’t ever mix booze with your meds. Never! Don’t even think of it.
“People over 50 are generally prescribed medication and some are taken daily,” Sebastian says. “Drinking on medication puts the liver at high stress since alcohol can be toxic to the [liver] and drugs are bio-transformed in the liver.”
Casual Daily Drinking
If you’re middle aged, quit drinking in general — albeit sugary drinks and/or alcoholic beverages — on a daily basis.
As Sebastian concludes:
“The casual daily drinking — let’s say a beer after work or a glass of wine — these daily calories add up and can make it difficult for weight management. As we get older, our body needs less calories and calories from drinking contribute empty calories and none of the nutrients we need. The casual daily drinking can seem harmless but adds up.”
Source: Eat This, Not That
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Written by: Nana Kwadwo, Mon, Jan 10, 2022.