What you drink can have a major effect on your weight and your health, says Kaiser Permanente registered dietitian Carole Bartolotto, MA, RD. In fact, research shows that soda can increase your risk of diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and possibly heart disease and high blood pressure.
Emerging research also shows that extra calories from sugary drinks tend to cause more weight gain than the equivalent amount of calories from food.
We’ve compiled 3 unhealthy drinks — and offer some healthier alternatives.
- Soda: A can of soda typically contains the equivalent of 9 to 11 teaspoons of sugar and 140 to 165 calories. Even diet sodas have been found to increase your risk of metabolic syndrome.
- Specialty coffee drinks: Lattes, mochas, and even smoothies are loaded with calories — some have up to 400 calories.
- Juice: Don’t be fooled into thinking that fruit juices are better for you than soda. Orange juice actually has more calories and sugar, ounce for ounce, than some sodas.
- Sparkling water:Enjoy thirst-quenching fizz without the sugar. If you crave a little more flavor, add a splash of juice or a few slices of fruit.
- Black coffee or tea: Keep it simple and low cal with a cup of joe (only 5 calories) or green tea (loaded with good-for-you antioxidants).
- Fruit-infused water: These products offer tasty flavor without unwanted calories or sugar.
Thirsty for more information about healthy food choices? Get tips for healthy supermarket shopping.