Are we drinking ourselves fat?

If you’re gulping down sodas, fruit juices and flavoured drinks regularly, excess calories may be an issue, especially if you are struggling with your weight.

Soda

Soda

People who quench their thirst with these types of beverages can be taking in as many as 300 to 500 extra calories per day.

Over the last 30 years, we have seen a considerable increase in the calories consumed from these beverages. Intake of sodas and fruit drinks has gone up, the number of times per day that people consume calorically sweetened beverages has gone up, portion sizes have increased and the percentage of people consuming these beverages continues to rise.

Could we actually be drinking ourselves fat? What many people do not realize is that beverages are less satiating than solid foods. People also fail to consider that those liquid calories actually count towards their total calories for the day. Moreover, liquid calories don’t register with our appetite controls. So, when we consume calories from beverages we don’t necessarily compensate by eating less food later on.

We have become a latte-frappacino-soda-sport-drink society. An unsweetened regular latte (tall size) will add approximately 225 calories and 8 grams saturated fat to your daily intake. Make it a large (grande size) and you’ll hit over 300 calories and 10 grams of saturated fat.

A grande (16 oz) caramel or mocha frappacino supplies approximately 430 calories and 10 grams of saturated fat. Did you know that for the same amount of calories you could sit down to 11 slices of bacon?

Now please don’t misinterpret what I’m saying. I’m not suggesting that you all enjoy sitting down to a pile of bacon. I am simply trying to emphasize that calories from a liquid source still do count as calories.

Don’t confuse fruit juice and fruit drink. An 8-ounce glass (or juice box) of a flavoured drink (like Sunny D) has but a mere tablespoon of real fruit juice…and those calories (if consumed daily) will certainly contribute to yours and your family’s increasing waistline.

Unless you are an athlete and participate in endurance activities lasting longer than 90 minutes, sport drinks should not be consumed throughout the day, especially if you are trying to lose weight. Go for calorie-free water.

So what else can you do? For one thing, you can swap that regular latte for a ‘skinny’ latte. This means that your latte will be prepared with low fat (1 per cent) or skim milk. The calories will drop considerably (approximately 150 for the low fat, and 100 calories for the skim milk latte), unsweetened of course.

If you do want to enjoy those iced-flavored coffee beverages, consider ordering a small or kiddie size and limit the number of times per month you order them.

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