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Friday, October 14, 2011

Think Before You Drink!

Soda packs on the pounds.

From sodas to sports drinks and sugary coffee concoctions, sweetened beverages are everywhere! And, most Americans drink at least one of these sugary beverages per day. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average male consumes 175 calories from beverages per day; the average woman consumes 94 sugary-drink calories daily. Even drinks you might consider “innocent”, like sports drinks and vitamin-enhanced water, contain calories and are loaded with sugar.

The average bottle of soda or juice has 2 servings per bottle and around 200-250 calories per bottle.

One recent study examined the effects of drinking juice versus eating the real fruit. Researchers found that people who drank juice gained more weight than those who ate fruit. Most juices are missing fiber, a key to feeling full and satisfied. So, even though you are consuming calories in these sugary beverages, your body doesn’t feel “full” and you continue to eat a regular meal on top of your calorie-dense drink. This leads extra calories and weight gain.

Interestingly, researchers of the aforementioned study also found that people who didn’t compensate for the extra fruits they were eating also gained weight! Although they didn’t gain as much weight as the juice drinkers, they did gain a few extra pounds. This brings up the key point that fruits and vegetables need to be eaten in place of, and not in addition to, high-calorie foods and sweetened beverages.