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Nutrition: Sugary Drinks

Sugary drinks are beverages with added sugars. They include soda and sweetened tea, as well as sports, energy and juice drinks.

It is easy to consume too much sugar when you drink sugary drinks. One 20-ounce soda can have more than 70 grams of added sugar — that’s more than 250 calories and more than the recommended limit for most people. Other beverages, such as blended coffee drinks, hot chocolate, smoothies and even 100% juice, are also high in calories and sugar.

The companies that sell these drinks spend hundreds of millions of dollars on ads and may try to convince you that sugary drinks can be part of a healthy diet. Despite their claims, it is hard to balance out the health problems caused by these drinks.

Sugary drinks are high in calories and have little to no nutritional value. They can lead to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cavities and weight gain. Water and seltzer are always healthy options — drink those instead.

Stay Nutritious

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

  • Avoid sugary drinks and don’t give them to children.

  • Drink plenty of water. Try NYC's own high quality tap water (PDF) and save both money and calories. Add lemon or lime for a bit of flavor.

  • Choose a smaller size. Smaller portions means less sugar.

  • Eat whole fruits instead of drinking juice, or dilute 100% juice with some water.

  • Ask for coffee and tea with no sugar. Add your own if you need a little sweetener.

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