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Healthy Balance

Are Sugary Drinks Worse Than Dessert?

sugary drinks
People often forget about the hidden calories in beverages.

As temperatures rise, the temptation is high to slurp down a super-sized cold beverage. But before you quench your thirst, consider how well you know your drink of choice. A list of the “Worst Drinks in America” compiled by Men’s Health Magazine brings to light some pretty surprising facts about some of the beverages we drink every day. One example: drinking a SoBe Green Tea is equivalent to eating four slices of cherry pie!

What’s lurking in your favorite beverage?

People often forget about the hidden calories in beverages. Drinks often can be loaded with sugar, and studies have shown that increased consumption of these sugary drinks is associated with the rise in obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Sugar makes you crave more sugar

Sugar on its own has no nutritional value. It does not contain vitamins and minerals and worst of all, its enticing taste keeps you coming back for more. You’ll satisfy your craving temporarily with a sugary beverage but ultimately it’ll leave you feeling empty and hungry for a snack. If you’re consuming 40g of sugar and 360 calories in your morning coffee, your snack options are limited if you’re going to stay within the limits of a 2,000-calorie diet.

Names can be deceiving

To ensure you don’t drown out your good eating habits with a few beverages, be sure you know what you’re drinking. Skipping the whip on your latte or forgoing the second soda at lunch are obvious first steps. But sometimes those added calories are hidden in unlikely places. One of the worst offenders: Vitamin Water. Just because it says it’s water doesn’t mean it’s good for you. A 20 oz. bottle of Defence-flavored Vitamin Water has 32.5g of sugar—that’s more than a chocolate croissant from Panera Bread. So read the label or search for nutrition information online to find out what you’re really getting in your favorite drink.

Here are a few surprising drinks vs. eats comparisons:

Drinks Eats
Sobe Nirvana, 30g sugar Dairy Queen Small Dipped Cone, 31g sugar
Starbucks Venti Iced Caramel Macchiato, 44g sugar Chocolate Big Baby Bundt Cake, 29g sugar
Chick-fil-a Large Lemonade, 93g sugar Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich, 5g sugar

Tip: Instead of soda, try slicing up lemons, limes and oranges and keep in the fridge for a handy, healthy way to spruce up your bottled water.


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