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Nutrition: Sugary Drinks

Sugary drinks can lead to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cavities and weight gain. Excess weight is linked to high blood pressure, some cancers and other other health conditions.

It is easy to consume high amounts of calories by drinking sugary sodas, sweetened teas, juice and sport and energy drinks. Blended coffee drinks and smoothies are also high in sugar and calories.

Beverage companies spend hundreds of millions of dollars to promote sugary drinks. They want you to think that sugary drinks are fine if you exercise and eat healthy, but even one sugary drink can put you over the daily recommended limit for calories from added sugar. A 20-ounce bottle of soda can pack over 15 teaspoons of added sugar — that is more than 250 calories of poor nutrient value.

Check out these tips to help you and your family avoid sugary drinks:

  • Drink plenty of water. Try NYC's own high quality water (PDF) and save both money and calories. Add lemon or lime to water or seltzer for a hint of flavor.
  • Make healthier choices. Switch from drinking juice to eating whole fruit. Whole fruit has more fiber, is more filling and is better for you.
  • Skip sports drinks and energy drinks. They might sound healthy, but they often contain sugar.
  • Watch out for pre-sweetened coffee, tea drinks, smoothies and milk. Ask for your beverages with less sugar, or add it in yourself to control your consumption.
  • Choose a smaller size. Smaller portions means less sugar.

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