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Replace carbonated beverages with fresh fruit juices in your diet: ICMR guideline

The ICMR guideline suggests that replacing carbonated beverages with fresh fruit juices is a simple yet effective way to improve your overall health. Fresh fruit juices are not only low in calories and sugar but also rich in essential nutrients that can protect you from various diseases.

Written By: Kristina Das @ New Delhi Published on: May 22, 2024 10:38 IST
ICMR guidelines
Image Source : FREEPIK ICMR guidelines suggested people to replace carbonated beverages with fresh fruit juices.

Carbonated beverages, also known as soft drinks, are a popular choice for many people, especially when it comes to quenching thirst or satisfying cravings. However, these beverages are high in sugar, calories, and artificial additives, making them a major contributor to health issues such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. In fact, according to a recent guideline by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the regular consumption of carbonated beverages can lead to various health risks. But fret not, there is a simple solution – replacing carbonated beverages with fresh fruit juices in your diet. Let's delve deeper into the ICMR guideline and understand why making this switch is beneficial for your overall health.

Why carbonated beverages are harmful for your health?

Carbonated beverages contain high levels of sugar, usually in the form of fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners. This added sugar is one of the leading causes of obesity, as it adds empty calories to our diet without providing any essential nutrients. Moreover, excessive consumption of sugar can lead to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

They also contain artificial additives such as preservatives, colours, and flavours. These additives have been linked to various health issues such as headaches, allergic reactions, and even cancer in some cases. Furthermore, carbonated beverages are highly acidic due to the presence of phosphoric and citric acid. This acidity can erode tooth enamel and increase the risk of dental problems.

On the other hand, fresh fruit juices are made from natural fruits and do not contain any added sugar or artificial additives. They are rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can boost your immune system and protect you from various diseases. Moreover, the natural sugars present in fruits are less harmful than the added sugars found in carbonated beverages.

The importance of drinking an adequate amount of water

According to ICMR guidelines, water accounts for 70 per cent of our body weight. It plays a key role in the elimination of body wastes and the regulation of body temperature. A normal healthy person needs to drink about eight glasses (approximately two litres) of water including beverages per day.

Benefits of tender coconut water

Tender coconut water is a good hydrating beverage which contains several minerals and provides 15 Kcal/100ml. However, for patients prone to hyperkalemia (in kidney and heart diseases), tender coconut water should be avoided, as per ICMR dietary advisory. 

Alternatives to synthetic drinks

Beverages like buttermilk, lemon water, whole fruit juice (without added sugar) and coconut water are excellent alternatives to synthetic drinks.

Fresh fruit juices 

Lemon, orange, mango, grape, pineapple, pomegranate, apple, etc are generally used in making fruit juices. Fresh fruit juices provide essential vitamins and minerals. 

Important guidelines

  • Drink adequate quantities of safe water to meet the daily fluid requirements.
  • Boil water, when the safety of the water is in doubt.
  • Consume fresh fruits rather than in juice form.
  • In hot weather, prefer to drink lemon water, coconut water, buttermilk, etc as beverages.
  • Synthetic drinks are not substitutes for water.
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages.

So, next time you reach out for a soft drink, remember the long-term effects it can have on your health and opt for a fresh fruit juice instead. Your body will thank you for making this small but significant change in your diet.

ALSO READ: ICMR releases dietary advisory for women who do not get time to exercise regularly


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