What is a “sweetened drink?” A sweetened drink is any drink that is flavored by calories or sugars. Coke®, Sprite®, Diet Coke®, Hawaiian Punch®, and Gatorade® are all sweetened drinks. Non-sweetened drinks include water, skim milk, and 100% unsweetened juice.
Nutritionists tell us that 4 grams of sugar is equivalent to a teaspoon. So whenever you have that 20oz soda bottle with 36 grams of sugar in it, you’re really consuming roughly 9 teaspoons of sugar. That’s a whole lot! Even some fruit juices that aren’t 100% juice contain large amounts of sugar and aren’t as good for us as we think. These sweetened drinks are empty calories for our bodies and increase our cholesterol, blood pressure and fat storage.
The American Diabetes Association recommends:
Sticking to non-sweetened beverages is an important part of a healthy diet for you and your child. Grams and teaspoons seem small, but they add up quickly and over time. Make drinking water fun by using fun glasses, silly straws or even rewards for children who choose water or milk over sweetened drinks.
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