Now that summer’s here, children and families are going outside and being more active. We know it’s important to stay hydrated throughout the day. It’s tempting to reach for a soda or sports drink when you’re thirsty, but these beverages are loaded with added sugars. Is there a better beverage choice for you and your family?
Here is an interesting and surprising fact: The average American consumes 270 calories of added sugars each day. That is more than two cups of sugar per week! Consuming foods and beverages high in added sugars are linked to increased risk for heart disease, obesity, diabetes and tooth decay. How can we cut back on added sugars and still enjoy our food and beverages?
Almost half of the added sugars in our diets come from drinks like sodas, fruit drinks and other sweetened beverages. An easy way to reduce the amount of added sugars we consume is to rethink beverages. Try these tips to help you and your family make better beverage choices:
Drink water or seltzer instead of sugary drinks
• Make water more exciting by adding slices of fruit or veggies like lemon, lime, cucumber or watermelon.
• For a quick, easy and inexpensive thirst quencher, carry a water bottle and refill it throughout the day.
• Get rid of the soda and sports drinks! Instead, add a splash of 100-percent juice to seltzer for a refreshing, low-calorie drink.
Create a kid-friendly drink zone
• Make water, low-fat (1 percent) or fat-free milk, or 100-percent juice an easy option in your home.
• Have ready-to-go containers filled with water or healthy drinks available in the refrigerator. Place them in lunchboxes or backpacks for easy access when kids are away from home.
• Depending on age, it is recommended that children drink no more than a half to 1 cup, and adults drink no more than 1 cup of 100-percent fruit or vegetable juice each day.
Look for Eat Smart New York’s Rethink Your Drink campaign messages on billboards, buses and radio announcements in the Finger Lakes! Meet Eat Smart New York staff at farmers markets, food pantries, and community events near you. Visit rethinkyourdrinkny.org for more tips and recipes. Visit this link for more facts about added sugars: health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/resources/dga_cut-down-on-added-sugars.pdf.