No matter how carefully you follow a healthy eating plan, your diet can run into some real trouble if you don’t keep an eye on your beverages, too. Beverages can not only add unnecessary calories and sugar, but can be downright unhealthy. Fortunately, there are some healthy swaps that are super easy to make. Read on to learn about four healthy swaps for the unhealthy beverages that people have every day.
Soda Swap: Carbonated Water
When your body craves sugar, it may seem natural to reach for a can of soda. However, a single 12 ounce serving adds 110 empty calories to your body – and as much as 10 teaspoons of sugar. The soda isn’t hydrating the body, either: In fact, caffeine (a major ingredient in many sodas) is actually a diuretic that will dehydrate you.
When you crave a little sweetness (and the carbonation that goes with it) consider swapping your soda for carbonated water. These fizzy waters are made in a variety of fruity flavors, and most of them have low or no calories. There is no caffeine in carbonated water, either, so it will actually help hydrate your body.
Fancy Coffee Swap: Real Coffee
Many people have developed a habit of drinking at least one fancy coffee every day. Not only is this a pricey habit, it’s also an unhealthy one. A fancy coffee like an English Toffee flavor cappuccino can have around 200 calories – additives like whipped cream and caramel topping can even double that number. Some of the premium blended coffee drinks can even have 500 calories or more! Equally bad is the up to 100 grams of sugar that may be included in a single large coffee drink.
Since the fancy coffee drinks are nothing more than empty calories and unnecessary sugar, consider another way to get your coffee fix: Real coffee! A single cup of real coffee isn’t loaded with sugar, unless you add those cubes yourself. Choose a special roast, for example a toffee flavor coffee bean. That provides the great taste you’re looking for without all the sugar. Add just a bit of cream and sugar, with a goal of tapering down as much as possible. You’ll be way ahead of the game this way.
Sugary Juice Swap: Real Fruit Juice
Even people who have cut the soda and fancy coffee habits may still be unintentionally sabotaging themselves with sugary fruit juices. It is natural to assume that fruit juices are healthy, but the truth is that fruit juices are often only half real fruit juice. Watch for phrases like “juice cocktail,” “Juice beverage,” or “juice drink” to identify the questionable ones. Those juices may have very little real juice, and they are often full of corn syrup and fake flavoring. This adds up to a bunch of calories (about 137 calories per serving) and around 30 grams of sugar.
You can easily get the same taste, if not a better taste, by choosing 100 percent pure juice. While there are calories attached to real juice, the caloric content tends to be lower than that of the fake juices. Furthermore, you aren’t getting any added sugar when you opt for real juice.
Sweet Tea Swap: Green Tea
Sweet tea is a super popular drink choice today. As sweet as it is, it’s a bad choice when it comes to calories and sugar. The average bottle of sweet tea has a whopping four tablespoons of sugar in it. With sugar weighing in at around 50 calories per tablespoon, this means a single bottle of sweet tea has about 200 calories. With all that sugar, you can barely taste the tea.