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Most people are careful about not eating foods and drinking beverages that are high in sugar content. However, they might be overlooking some beverages that have more sugar than they realize.
According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, beverages make up almost half the calories and sugar in the average person's diet.
Take a look at some popular beverages that are loaded with sugar. In fact, studies show they are linked to the cause of obesity and diabetes.
1. Sports Drinks
A lot of people have a misconception about sports drinks. It is true the beverage is designed for athletes and runners, but they are high in calories and loaded with sugar.
Sports drinks provide energy in the form of glucose. Athletes and runners will burn the calories from the high sugar content. If you are not an athlete, you will not burn the calories while sitting at your desk. The extra sugar will be stored as fat.
To be on the safe side, avoid sports drinks, especially if you are not an athlete. You will save 160 calories and 32 grams of added sugar. Stick to something with lower calories and sugar.
2. Flavored Water
Nutritionists say that when you drink flavored water, it is just like drinking sugar water. It doesn't matter if the label says it has vitamins added to the mix. Some brands of flavored water has 30 grams of sugar. That is equal to at least seven seven teaspoons of sugar. Even if it contains artificial sweeteners, such as Stevia, it doesn't make the drink healthier.
You can add your own flavor to water by squeezing a few drops of fruit juice into your water, or by dropping a slice of one of your favorite fruits into the glass. A lot of people add a piece of lemon to their water for a refreshing drink.
3. Flavored Coffee
Coffee lovers do not have to give up drinking coffee. However, it is best for them to stop drinking or minimize drinking flavored coffee if they want to cut out or cut down on consuming sugar. The sugar content of flavored coffee is very high.
A serving of flavored coffee usually contains about 100 grams of sugar. That’s almost three times more than a regular can of soda. Stick to regular coffee instead of drinking the creamy flavored kinds.
4. Sweetened Iced Tea
There is nothing better than a tall glass of iced tea on a hot summer day. Usually that tall glass of iced tea is sweetened with a lot of sugar. Store bought iced tea has about 35 grams of sugar like a can of Coke.
A better option is to make your own iced tea. Then you can sweeten it with honey and any fruit of your choice without having to consume the high content of sugar in the commercial tea from the grocery store.
5. Bottled Fruit Juice
Whenever consumers see "fruit" as an ingredient in a food or drink, they might think it is good and good for them. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Store bought bottled fruit juice is usually loaded with artificial flavors and added sugar. One bottle of fruit juice many contain between 30 and 40 grams of sugar and 175 calories.
With all that against fruit juice, it still has a good source of vitamins and minerals. It is much better to make homemade fruit juice. You can control the amount of sugar you use when you make your own.
Eating whole fruits instead of packaged fruit juice is much better for you than consuming fruit juice. That's because the fruit itself has fiber, but fruit juice has very little fiber.
Many people think smoothies should be part of a healthy diet. Studies have shown that smoothies are not always good for your health. Smoothies purchased from the grocery store usually contain fruit juice, maple syrup and ice cream. This combination can triple the existing natural sugar. People end up consuming more than 90 grams of sugar in one serving.
You can always make your own smoothies at home. That way you will know exactly what's in them. Keep in mind that smoothies can be made with vegetables as well as fruits. When you add green vegetables like kale and spinach, you get more antioxidants and fiber instead of sugar.
7. Sugary Sodas
Most people are aware that sodas or soft drinks have calories and a high amount of sugar. One 12-ounce can of regular soda has at least 120 calories. There are more or less depending on the kind of soda a person chooses to drink.
A can of regular soda has about 39 grams of sugar, which surpasses the daily amount for both women and men. A woman's daily recommendation is 25 grams of sugar or six teaspoons, and a man's is 37.5 grams or nine teaspoons.
For people's overall health, it is a good thing if they could cut out or minimize drinking sugary sodas.
8. Alcoholic Beverages
Television has made drinking wine a thing to be desired. Most people don't realize that the red liquid they see in a wine glass might not be wine after all.
The number of calories in beer, wine, and other alcoholic beverages depend on the brand. The average number of calories in beer is 154. Beer has no sugar at all, but it has carbohydrates.
Wine has about 123 calories per serving. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, a five-ounce glass of red wine contains about 0.9 grams of total sugar. A glass of chardonnay contains about 1.4 grams. Some wines can contain as much as seven grams of sugar.
While the sugar content in beer is zero, and wine content is minimum, mixed drinks and liqueurs contain a lot of sugar. Popular mixed drinks like daiquiris, margaritas, and pina coladas contain about 30 grams of sugar in just one serving. Some sugar is added to liqueurs by distillers to enhance the flavor and taste.
This writer is not a dietician or a nutritionist. Information contained in this article is helpful, and it is based on research and studies done by professionals.