The next time you go grocery shopping, read the nutrition labels on the items in your cart to see which ones have the most added sugars. You may be surprised to see the amount of added sugars in some drinks.
Sugary drinks are the leading source of added sugars in the American diet. These sweetened liquids include regular soda, fruit drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened waters. The flavored coffees we grab on the way to work and sweet drinks we order when eating out also count as sugary drinks. Adding sugar and flavored creamer to coffee and tea at home counts, too.
Tricks to Rethink Your Drink
- Choose water (tap or unsweetened, bottled, or sparkling) over sugary drinks.
- Need more flavor? Add berries or slices of lime, lemon, or cucumber to water.
- Missing fizzy drinks? Add a splash of 100% juice to plain sparkling water for a refreshing, low-calorie drink.
- Need help breaking the habit? Don’t stock up on sugary drinks. Instead, keep a jug or bottles of cold water in the fridge.
- Water just won’t do? Reach for drinks that contain important nutrients such as low fat or fat free milk; unsweetened, fortified milk alternatives; or 100% fruit or vegetable juice first. (NOTE: Before infants are 12 months old, do not give fruit or vegetable juice. Juice after 12 months old is not necessary, but 4 ounces or less a day of 100% juice can be provided.)
- At the coffee shop? Skip the flavored syrups or whipped cream. Ask for a drink with low fat or fat free milk, an unsweetened milk alternative such as soy or almond, or get back to basics with black coffee.
- At the store? Read the Nutrition Facts label to choose drinks that are low in calories, added sugars, and saturated fat.
- On the go? Carry a reusable water bottle with you and refill it throughout the day.
Remember that you can be a role model for your friends and family by choosing water and other healthy, low-calorie beverages.