Friday, October 16, 2015

How Healthy is Your Drink?

We have all joked at some point about the customer who orders the Big Mac, large French fry, and a Diet Coke.  And I know, especially since fall is upon us, we are all guilty of ordering our favorite Starbucks drink, laden with calories and sugar!  But what about the drinks we consume on a daily basis?  Orange juice for breakfast?  Energy drinks to get us through the day?  What about those healthy smoothies you see everyone walking around with?  Are all these choices healthy- or are we making decisions just like the customer who orders the heart attack on a tray with a diet soda?  Although you probably do not think twice about what you drink, they can be just as high in calories and sugars as your food.  Are you drinking enough calories to make up a meal?!

Let’s say during the course of a day, I consume the following beverages (all 12 oz serving size):
Drink                                                                                                   Calories           TSP of Sugar
Breakfast: Orange juice                                                                           165                      10
Snack:  Mango Smoothie from Jamba Juice                                            375                      15
Lunch:  Glass of skim milk                                                                     119                       4              
Snack:  Red Bull Energy Drink                                                               165                      10 
Dinner:  A&W Root Beer                                                                       180                      11
Bedtime:  Glass of water                                                                           0                        0

Total                                                                                                   1004 Calories  50 TSP Sugar

WOW!!!!  1,004 calories drinks only?  That’s crazy!  Depending on what your personal goal for calorie consumption is daily, I just drank half of what you may “allow” yourself to eat for the entire day!  The American Heart Association recommends 9 teaspoons of sugar a day for men, and 6 teaspoons of sugar for women per day-which far exceeds the 50 teaspoons in this menu.  And just think, this does not include any of your foods you would normally eat- guess you should double think that piece of cake in your hand, huh?  Unfortunately, as outlandish as this menu of drinks may seem to me, it is reality for many.

The solution?  Just add 1,000 calorie allowance to your already established diet!  Totally. Joking.  Limit your unhealthy drinks.  Have a smoothie during the week, but forgo the energy drinks and sodas.  Limit your juice intake to 4-6 oz a day instead of 12 oz.  Low-fat and skim milk is always a solid choice.  And, of course, drink plenty of refreshing calorie-free water!  Add lemons, limes, mint, or a few blueberries or strawberry slices to your water for an even wider variety of flavors!                                                                                            

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