Winston-Salem, NC -- You might count calories when you order a meal, but what about when you buy a drink?
Katie Boles, a registered dietitian at Brenner FIT of Wake Forest Baptist says, "A lot of times we're eating as we drink, so we don't realize how many calories we're consuming."
Her first example, lemonade. "It has lemons in the name so we think it's going to be nutritious, but this has 17 teaspoons of sugar in this drink. So we're still going to be eating all that and this is going to go down easy and you'll never use that energy."
Boles says soda is the same way. Chocolate milk or flavored milk has natural sugar and then added sugar for the flavoring syrup. The benefit here is the calcium and protein, but you probably don't want to drink a full 12 ounces of it.
Next on the list, sports drinks. "We don't need them," says Boles. "It's 8 teaspoons of sugar and still you probably didn't work out enough to work off that sports drink."
And be careful in the drive thru. "We don't pay attention, and we get the large drink. It can have 25-30 teaspoons in it. You could eat a burger for what you would drink."
"Orange juice is a drink that we think is healthy because it's got vitamins, but it has a lot of natural sugar and natural sugar acts the same way as added sugar in our body."
Boles explains when we drink orange juice we drink sugar with vitamins. She used a glass of water and dropped sugar in it to show that it is instant absorbtion in our bodies. But when we eat an orange, there is fiber which lowers the blood sugar and allows us to feel fuller longer. She used a cup of water with the rice as fiber to show you how the fiber dilutes the sugar.
"You can still do these, but in moderation. Try to get more low sugar and low calorie versus your high."
Replace 1-20oz soda a day with a low-sugar beverage each day:
• In 1 week: Save ~115 teaspoons of sugar, 1680 calories (>1lb of body weight)
• In 1 month: Save ~490 teaspoons of sugar, 7200 calories (>4lb of body weight)
• In 1 year: Save ~5,930 teaspoons of sugar, 87,600 calories (>58lb of body weight)