Be aware of the calories you drink
Many high sugar beverages provide little nutrition. Empty calories in drinks can add up to increased inches on the waistline.
February 22, 2012 - Author: Diane Rellinger, Michigan State University Extension
Beverage choices are plentiful, but there is more to choosing a beverage than quenching your thirst. Think about the last time you strolled down the beverage aisle in your local grocery or convenience store; what caught your attention? Beverage companies entice consumers with eye catching labels and clever use of slogans. In any given day the beverages you consume could either have a positive or negative effect on your overall health. There is much more to consider when selecting beverages than just taste. You should also consider your waistline.
It is very important to understand your individual daily caloric needs and be aware that calories from high sugar beverages can add up quickly. There is no denying that the size of beverage containers has increased over the last decade. Many companies sell 20 ounces or one liter containers. It is not uncommon for people, even children, to consume an entire beverage of this size on their own. Could the calories in your regular soda, energy drink, sports drinks, sweetened flavored water and fruit blend drinks be sabotaging your waistline? Look at the Nutrition Facts label on your beverages; a single serving size of most drinks is eight ounces. If you drink the entire 20 ounce container of regular soda (which is two and half servings) you would have consumed 250 calories. Don’t be fooled into thinking 20 ounces is one serving size.
High sugar beverages contain calories, but what nutritional benefits will you get from these calories? Again, read theNutrition Fact label and notice that high sugar drinks are generally nutrient void beverages. Nutrient void means empty calories. Empty calories may taste delicious, but think carefully about your drink choices. A 20 ounce regular beverage contains 16 teaspoons of sugar which equals a quarter cup of sugar. Empty calories are still calories and they should be consumed only occasionally. Healthier drinks that have nutritional value are no-fat and low-fat milk, 100% juice, and low-sodium vegetable juice. Don’t forget about how beneficial water is for your body, and at zero calories water is a perfect beverage choice. Be mindful about your daily beverages so you can choose wisely.