When making changes for a healthier lifestyle, do you remember to include what you are drinking? Beverages are the number one source of added sugar in our diets, which increase your risk for tooth decay, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Truth be told, a lot of empty calories and added sugar may be hiding in some of your favorite drinks. In order to make healthier beverage choices, here are a few things to consider.
Know how much sugar is in what you’re drinking
Many popular drinks are full of added sugars. In fact, you may be surprised to find out that most contain more than your recommended amount of sugar for the entire day!
- One 16 oz Monster energy drink contains 50 grams of added sugar.
- A 20 oz bottle of Pepsi contains 70 grams of added sugar.
- One 20 oz bottle of a Gatorade contains 35 grams of sugar.
Daily sugar recommendations
The American Heart Association recommends no more than 25 grams of added sugar for women and 36 grams of added sugar for men. Therefore, read your food labels to see how much sugar is in the beverages you consume. If you’re consuming too much sugar, make the switch to a healthier sugar-free alternative.
Pay attention to portion sizes
The nutrition labels on most labels show the amount of sugar for an 8 oz serving size. The problem with this is most popular drinks are sold in much larger portions!
- Barista coffees are often sold in a 20 oz portion.
- Sports drinks are routinely sold in a 30 oz portion.
- And soft drinks are sold in up to 40 oz portions.
If you are finding it difficult to cut out your favorite sugary beverages completely, consider reducing your portion size to an 8 ounce glass. In doing so, you are taking the right steps towards decreasing your sugar and calorie intake!