With the crisp coolness in the air (for those who do not live in Georgia), it is hard to resist those warm sugary Starbucks drinks that appear each Fall. What many patients don't realize is that their morning pumpkin spice latte or midday mocha macchiato are just as dangerous to their weight loss efforts as their food choices. Unfortunately, lots of hidden calories and carbohydrates hide in every delicious sip. Don't "fall" back into old habits that can sabotage your new healthy life!
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that Americans only consume 50 grams of sugar a day. When taking a look at the sugar found in food combined with the added sugar in the drinks slurped throughout the day, the average American nearly doubles the FDA limit.
Sugary drinks are the single largest contributor of added sugar to the American diet. Young adults and children obtain about 16% of their total caloric intake from added sugar (about 226 calories a day, on average). Studies show that this number even beats out pizza!
The beverage industry and bottling companies do not help this cause though. Soft drink manufacturers produce around 10.4 billion gallons of sugar-water each year. In case you want to know what 10 billion gallons looks like...
...or basically a 12-ounce can of soda for every American, every day for a full year.
So what does this mean for you, as the consumer?
These sugary drinks are essentially liquid candy. They have very little nutritional value and oftentimes the consumer does not account for these liquid calories by cutting back on caloric intake elsewhere. Therefore, it is no surprise these drinks are a main contributor to the obesity epidemic.
So before you grab that Coca-Cola or even order that Pumpkin Spice Latte, think about what you are putting in your body and how it will affect your diet.
Does this mean I can only drink water?
Not at all! There are tons of low-calorie and delicious substitutes to soda products and other high sugar drinks.
- Instead of soda and soft drinks, try 0 calorie flavored water. If you enjoy the carbonation, pick up a flavored sugar free seltzer (acceptable post Weight loss surgery after about 6 months)
- If you need some electrolytes, try a Powerade Zero instead of a Gatorade, which has about 9 teaspoons of sugar
- Try sugar-free drink mixes like Crystal Light, Mio, Lemonade etc There's even a sugar free Root Beer powder!
- And of course....order the unsweet tea at the restaurant and add some packets of sweetener. It will save you 20+ teaspoons of sugar
There are lots of ways to substitute the sugar yet still satisfy your craving. So this fall, step away from the Pumpkin Spice Lattes and the Apple Ciders and try a different, healthy alternative!
How much sugar is in that?
The amount of sugar in these drinks is often shocking to people. The good news is that you don't have to give up these sweet morning treats completely. Live Healthy MD has created bariatric friendly alternatives that will have you falling head over heels!
Click the button below to download some fun, healthy fall drink recipes!