In practice, good nutrition means putting dietary emphasis on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, poultry, lean meats, and low-fat dairy foods to ensure the body has a steady and adequate supply of the nutrients it needs. It also means managing calorie intake (and expenditure through physical activity) to maintain a healthy weight – a concept called energy balance.
Beverages play an important role in providing essential nutrients. All beverages contain water and support proper hydration. Many 100% fruit and vegetable juices are also a good source of vitamin C, folate and potassium, while milk and soy-based beverage provide protein. Milk is also an excellent source of calcium and vitamin D, as are some fortified juices and soy-based beverages, while other beverages can be formulated to meet specific nutritional needs. There are also new discoveries, such as research suggesting that the polyphenols found in some juices may have potential health benefits.
By learning the facts, it is possible to incorporate a variety of beverages into the diet while maintaining a healthy weight and balancing hydration, nutrition, energy balance, and lifestyle needs.