It’s easy — and dangerous! — to drink up your calories. Sugary refreshments, smoothies and juices can be high in calories and low in nutrients, making us pack on the pounds without even realizing it.
Let’s be smart about our drink choices and pick healthy alternatives over unhealthy calorie traps. Try these easy swaps to enjoy your refreshments guilt-free!
Pre-made juices and smoothies not only have hundreds of empty calories, they also contain added sugars or artificial sweeteners. Even though they're FDA-approved, using the most common five artificial sweeteners (saccharin, acesulfame, aspartame, neotame, and sucralose), in place of sugar doesn’t make your drink “healthy”.
Harvard Medical School reported that research implies that the use of artificial sweeteners may change the way you taste food so you associate sweetness with caloric intake, causing you to crave more sweets.
So by using artificial sweeteners, you end up avoiding nutritious and filling foods, and consume more artificially flavored ones with less nutritional value, which can lead to weight gain.
Animal studies have also shown that these sweeteners can become addictive.
Always read the label of your drink and put it down if it has added sugars, artificial sweeteners, or preservatives you can’t pronounce!
It is best to make your own juices and smoothies at home and know what goes into them. Pick your favorite fruits, add a handful of kale, some coconut water and ice, then blend!
You can enjoy this easy, naturally sweet, and delicious recipe without worrying about your health or your waistline.
Soda is a No-No
It's time to skip soda, for good. Soft drinks increase your risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and other chronic conditions.
Switch to simpler options like iced tea or flavored water instead. Slice oranges and strawberries and add them to cold water for a sweet, yet 0-calorie, refreshment. Try sparkling water with lemon, cucumber, and ice for another refreshing soda alternative.
You can also make yourself a cup of your favorite tea and add ice to it for a fast and healthy drink.