Skip sugary beverages

Thirsty? Drink water.

Since the 1970’s sweetened drink consumption has been on the rise by about 100 percent with young adults. About 50 percent of the added sugars in our diets come from sodas, sports and energy drinks, coffee beverages and fruit juice drinks. Soft drinks are the single largest contributor of calorie intake in the U.S.

Studies show that when you consume calorie containing beverages, you don’t gain the same sense of fullness that you get when you consume these calories in solid foods. Adding a 12 ounce soft drink to your normal diet every day can lead to a 15 pound weight gain per year with the soda containing 150 calories and 40 grams of sugar.

Sweetened beverages contain high sugar contents. Evidence links excessive sugar intake with adverse health conditions, overconsumption of discretionary calories and shortfalls in essential nutrients. The American Heart Association recommends an upper limit for daily added sugar of no more than 100 calories for women (25 grams or six teaspoons) and 150 calories for men (38 grams or nine teaspoons). 

Consider cutting out bottles and cans of sweetened beverages and replacing with plain water or unsweetened coffee and tea. Remember that looks can be deceiving as bottled tea or a smoothie can contain just as much sugar as a soda. Read the nutrition label; look for added sugars such as high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, cane sugar, honey and dextrose of the ingredients list.

Michigan State University Extension offers nutrion tips and programs on a regular basis. Find your local MSU Extension office for nutritional programming near you.

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