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Think Your Drink During March, National Nutrition Month

Have you checked the Nutrition Facts label on your favorite beverages? Calories from beverages can add up quickly. Unlike food, beverages usually don’t make people feel “full.” Swapping a can of sweetened soda pop with water every day can trim about 150 calories from your daily diet. That simple swap could add up to a 15-pound weight loss during the course of a year.
Think Your Drink During March, National Nutrition Month

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Know Your Sweeteners                     

Many types of sweeteners are used in beverages, and most add calories without vitamins or minerals. Sugar-free food additives, such as aspartame, are used in diet soda. While they have zero or few calories, they also contribute no nutrition.Read the “Ingredient Statement” on the label to see what you are consuming. Added sweeteners have many different names, including:
• High-fructose corn syrup
• Fructose
• Fruit juice concentrate
• Honey
• Sugar
• Syrup
• Corn syrup
• Sucrose
• Dextrose

How Many Calories Did You Drink?
Let’s say you drank a 20-ounce bottle of a nondiet cola beverage. How many calories did you consume?

Soda Nutrition Facts

 

  • Check out the Nutrition Facts label, which lists servings per container and the amount of calories and other nutrients per serving.Servings per container: 2.5 Calories per serving: 100
  • Multiply the number of servings by the number of calories per serving (100 x 2.5).
  • You had 250 calories, all from added sweeteners.
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    Make Healthful Beverage Choices

     

  • Choose water or low-calorie beverages when you are thirsty. Save money by bringing a refillable water bottle. Be sure to wash it thoroughly before and after use.
  • Get your calcium. Have 3 cups of fat-free milk or other calcium-rich beverages or foods, including yogurt. Make a fruit smoothie by blending yogurt and frozen strawberries.
  • Choose 100 percent fruit or vegetable juice instead of “fruit-flavored” beverages. Better yet, have whole fruit, which is more than 90 percent water.
  • When you want a sweetened beverage, including smoothies, coffee drinks and soda pop, order the smallest size. Have coffee drinks made with fat-free milk, and skip the whipped topping.
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    *Reference: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/healthy_eating/drinks.html

    Julie Garden-Robinson, Food and Nutrition Specialist, NDSU Extension Service

    Featured in Food Wise March 2013 Newsletter (PDF)

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