"Beverage Guide to Sugars" Handout

Families, Food and Fitness June 21, 2010 Print Friendly and PDF

Beverage Guide to Sugars

1. SWEET TEA
Serving Size: 16 ounces

Sweet tea got its name for a reason ... it’s full of sugar! And that's not good for your body. Craving something sweet? Try plain tea sweetened with a non-caloric sweetener or skip the sweet altogether and add flavor with a slice of lemon.

Teaspoons Added Sugar: 8 teaspoons
Added Sugar Calories: 120 calories

2. MILK
Serving Size: 8 ounces

Your body needs the good stuff in milk to grow strong bones and teeth. After age two, choose low-fat or fat-free milk. Flavored milk, like chocolate or strawberry, has the same good stuff as white milk, but also some added sugar and more calories. Though you will see "Sugars" on the Nutrition Facts Label for plain, white milk, these are naturally occurring sugars, not added sugars.

Teaspoons Added Sugar: 0 teaspoons
Added Sugar Calories: 0 calories

  • There’s a difference between “naturally occurring” sugar and “added” sugar. You don’t need to be concerned about the sugar that occurs naturally in white milk and fresh fruit. It’s the added sugars that add calories without any other nutritional value.


3. SMOOTHIES
Serving Size: 12 ounces

Here’s the scoop! Drinking smoothies is a great way to add fruit, milk and yogurt to your diet. But be careful … smoothies can have lots of sugar. Many smoothies you buy are high in fat, too. Check out the ingredients, or make your own healthy version at home.

Teaspoons Added Sugar: 15 teaspoons
Added Sugar Calories: 248 calories


Peach-Raspberry Smoothie
Serves 1

Three common ingredients, unlimited variations and full of healthy fruits and calcium-rich yogurt! This smoothie recipe, courtesy of the National Cancer Institute, may become a favorite.

• 1 cup un-sweetened, frozen raspberries
• 3/4 cup 100% orange juice (if you use frozen juice, don't forget to dilute first)
• 1/2 cup fruit-flavored, low-fat yogurt (try peach)

Directions: Blend all ingredients well in blender, and drink!

Variations:
• Frozen strawberries, blueberries, mixed berries, mango, or peaches
• Pineapple juice, orange-tangerine juice, and other 100 percent juice blends
• Different yogurt flavors.



4. ENERGY DRINKS
Serving Size: 8.3 ounces

Yikes! Most energy drinks have around 7 teaspoons of sugar! That’s like drinking a soft drink. Energy drinks also have caffeine, which is not good for your body. To get the energy you need, eat healthy foods.

Teaspoons Added Sugar: 7 teaspoons
Added Sugar Calories: 110 calories

5. POWDER DRINK MIX
Serving Size: 8 ounces

Powder drink mixes can have lots of sugar or require you to add your own sugar. These are not healthy choices and are similar in sugar content to other soft drinks. Some powder drink mixes contain non-caloric sweeteners. These are better choices than those made with sugar but still not as healthy as plain water.

Teaspoons Added Sugar: 4 teaspoons
Added Sugar Calories: 60 calories

6. SOFT DRINKS
Serving Size: 20 ounces

Soft drinks are full of sugar! As much as 17 teaspoons in a 20 ounce bottle! It won’t help you build a healthy body. Try to drink soft drinks only on special occasions. When you drink a soft drink, just have one small glass.

Teaspoons Added Sugar: 17 teaspoons
Added Sugar Calories: 250 calories

7. SPORTS DRINKS
Serving Size: 12 ounces

If you’re playing sports, a sports drink might seem like the best choice. But, unless you’re participating in a high intensity activity, you may not need or benefit from a sports drink. Sports drinks have added sugar which means added calories. When you’re exercising or playing, the best thing to drink often is water.

Teaspoons Added Sugar: 7 teaspoons
Added Sugar Calories: 115 calories

8. FRUIT DRINK
Serving Size: 20 ounces

Be a juice detective! Avoid fruit beverages that say fruit drink, ade, punch, or cocktail even if the label says “contains real fruit juice.” Always choose 100% fruit juice, which is made sweet from the natural sugar in the fruit. Drink 100% fruit juice as part of a healthy breakfast or snack. Get the rest of your fruit servings by eating whole fruit.

Teaspoons Added Sugar: 7 teaspoons
Added Sugar Calories: 116 calories

  • There’s a difference between “naturally occurring” sugar and “added” sugar. You don’t need to be concerned about the sugar that occurs naturally in white milk and fresh fruit. It’s the added sugars that add calories without any other nutritional value.


9. WATER

Did you know at least half your body’s weight is water? It’s important to drink lots of water to help you be your best. When it’s hot outside or when you’re exercising or playing, drink even more water.

Teaspoons Added Sugar: 0 teaspoons
Added Sugar Calories: 0 calories

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.