|You are what you drink||Apr. 12, 2009|
|Provided by: Sun Media|
|Written by: FRAN BERKOFF|
|It's easy to rack up the calories when sucking back sugary drinks|
In the last few weeks, two studies have crossed my desk, both looking at the effects beverages can have on your health but most specifically, your weight and the weight of your kids. In one study Boston researchers looked at the relationship between beverage consumption and weight change in a group of adults, and concluded that a reduction in liquid calories, specifically sugar-sweetened beverages, was associated with weight loss over a 6-month and 18-month period. And, a second study done with children and adolescents showed that replacing sugar-sweetened beverages with water could result in eliminating an average of 235 calories per day, which certainly could have an impact on their weight.
It's important for kids and adults to stay properly hydrated at all times. This can come from any liquids -- water, juice, milk, soup, tea, coffee, soft drinks, and even watery fruits and vegetables. The calories in these liquids can vary hugely.
Most fluids have calories but not all have significant nutrition to accompany those calories. A cup of 1% milk for example, has 108 calories with generous amounts of protein, calcium, vitamin D, B-vitamins and more. A cup of sugar-sweetened pop has 110 calories but no accompanying nutrition. A cup of water, of course, has no calories. So, if you're spending calories on fluids, aim to make those calories come with some nutrients.
Portion sizes of beverages, especially the non-nutritious variety, have grown substantially over the last many years. No one drinks a 250 ml cup of pop anymore. The best you can find is a 12-ounce (355 mL) can (about 150 calories and about 10 teaspoons of sugar) and it's not unusual to get a serving that is 20 ounces or more. And, it's easy to drink that 20-ounce gulp down just as quickly as a 12-ounce can.
Eat fresh fruit rather than drink the juice. Juice, while it contributes more nutrition than pop, can also be loaded with calories and sugar. A 4-ounce (125 ml) glass of apple juice contains about 60 calories, but if you buy a 500 ml bottle and drink it all, you will be consuming 240 calories. One apple is about 100 calories and much more satisfying than a cup of apple juice.
If you do drink juice, make sure its real juice, not a fruit drink which is typically higher in sugar and lower in total nutrients. And, read the label. The juice bottle may give the nutrition information for 8 ounces (240 ml) but the bottle itself might be 16 ounces (473 mL). If you drank the whole bottle, you would drink double the calories listed on the label.
Juices that are fortified with nutrients (for example, orange juice with calcium) may be helpful if it's a nutrient you don't get enough of in your diet.
Diet pop is considerably lower in calories and sugar and is an option for a soft drink. A 12-ounce can of diet pop contains less than 10 calories compared to the higher calories of regular pop.
Water is calorie free but many people find it a bit boring. If you add a bit of lemon or lime or a dash of juice, the flavour increases. Mineral water or soda water are also calorie free but watch the sodium intake.
A few other calorie counts
1 cup (250 ml) iced tea: 93 calories
1 cup (250 ml) tonic water: 124 calories
1 cup (250 ml) lemonade: 195 calories
1 bottle beer: 140 calories
1 cup (250 ml) chocolate milkshake: 296 calories
|MORE COLUMNS BY FRAN BERKOFF|