Are too many sips sabotaging your diet? You probably think before taking that extra helping of spaghetti and meatballs or taking an extra scoop of ice cream, but when was the last time you really thought, “Do I need to drink this?”
Researchers now know that by your beverage patterns alone, they can tell you if you’re at risk for becoming overweight or obese in the future.
Too many liquid calories are linked to overweight and obesity, type II diabetes, lipid disorders and much more. In fact, liquid calories may inherently be much more damaging to our bodies than the same extra calories coming from solids, because liquids deliver their sugar and nutrients to the bloodstream more quickly than solids.
If your beverage is 100% sugar, it will cause blood sugar levels to spike as well as insulin. Do this too much and you’ll quickly damage your health.
In a recent beverage study, nearly two-thirds of adults drink beverages with added sugar on a daily basis. Adults reported drinking, on average, 28 ounces a day – that’s nearly 300 calories — from liquids. Sodas were the main calorie culprits, accounting for 60 percent of the respondents’ beverage calories.
Decades ago, beverages only provided 2-4%of total calories and today it’s about 20% of all of our calories.
What should you do to avoid slurping your way into a bigger dress size?
1) Make Better Beverage Choices
Hydrate with water, seltzer before any other beverages. If you drink diet sodas or other diet beverages, limit them as they drive your desire for additional sweets. Enjoy calorie-free coffee and tea as they provide beneficial antioxidants, but cut out creamy coffees with fancy toppings (read: caramel and whipped cream!) and teas that can add hundreds of calories.
Skip soda and similar beverages that provide no nutritional benefits other than sugar calories. When you do drink beverages, make sure that they’re nutrient-rich like skim milk.
2) Think before you drink!
Thirsty for Sugar?
In the typical US diet, here’s how calories from liquid beverages stack up
• Soda and sugary drinks: 203 calories
• Alcohol: 99 calories
• Milk: 84 calories
• 100% fruit juice: 32 calories
• Coffee/tea: 11 calories
— Katherine Brooking, MS, RD, Appetite for Health