Choosing beverages that contain lots of added sugar are not the best choice! Sugar-sweetened beverages contain a lot of extra calories and almost no nutrients. If you are consuming high-sugar drinks (i.e., soda or juice) regularly, over time it can lead to weight gain, which in turn will increases your risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease as well as other medical issues.
As of now, there are no federal guidelines regarding the amount of sugar you should consume. However, the American Heart Association recommends that we consume less sugar – no more than 6 teaspoons (tsp.) or 100 calories a day of sugar for most women and no more than 9 teaspoons or 150 calories a day for most men.
There is no nutritional need or benefit that comes from sugar that is added to beverages. Here is something to consider: a can of regular soda contains about 9-10 tsp. of sugar and a 12 oz. bottle of apple or cranberry juice contains about 10-11 tsp. of sugar, which provides about 150 calories (~40 gm. of sugar).
- Try to limit your intake of flavored coffee. The calories from sugar added to these beverages will add up quickly.
- Read food labels. Sometimes a bottled beverage will contain more than one serving.
- Choose a diet or low-calorie beverage, but take in to consideration that these beverages contain artificial sweeteners.
- Water does not contain nutrients or calories
- If you don’t like plain water try adding a very small amount of juice for flavor or add fruit to infuse the water with flavor
- Low-fat milk (skim milk, 1% low-fat milk)
- Milk provides important nutrients: protein, calcium and vitamin D
- Choose a low-fat version to supply fewer calories and less fat
- Flavored milk will provide about 5-6 tsp. of added sugar (per 8 oz. serving)
- Low-fat milk (skim or 1%)
- Fresh and/or frozen fruits
- Fresh and/or frozen vegetables
- Harvard T.H. Chan, School of Public Health Newsletter, Healthy Drinks http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/healthy-drinks/ Accessed October 12, 2015
- Water: How much should you drink every day? http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/water/art-20044256 Accessed October 12, 2015