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Nutrition Month Information
Rethink your Drink: Sugar Content in Common Beverages
Added sugars can be found in obvious places such as baked goods, candy and soft drinks. However, there can be high amounts of these added sugars in healthier options as well like yogurt, cereal and many common beverages. Often liquid calories consumed throughout the day are not thought of as contributing to your overall diet. However, these beverages can play a big role in negative health consequences. For a child that would have a smaller stomach capacity, filling up on these drinks leaves less room for more nutritious alternatives. The Institute of Medicine recommends for added sugars to be used “sparingly in the diet”. To meet these guidelines a 9 year old child has to consume less than 10 teaspoons of sugar per day while a 14 year old child would have to consume less than 15 teaspoons of sugar per day. By regularly including sweetened beverages in the diet, this guideline could easily be met and exceeded.
Sugar Content of Common Beverages
180 ml Juice Drink: 4 teaspoons/cubes of sugar (16 grams)
20 oz Cola: 16 teaspoons /cubes of sugar (64 grams)
20 oz Sports Drink: 8 teaspoons/cubes of sugar (32 grams)
Regularly consuming sweetened beverages can take a toll on health through an increased risk for obesity and tooth decay. Although all foods and beverages can be part of a balanced diet, smarter everyday beverage choices would be water and milk. A sometimes drink could include 100% juice or a flavoured milk, while a least often choice should be soft drinks, sports drinks and fruit drinks that contain added sugars.
Jazz Up Your Water: Try A New Recipe
Citrus Cucumber Water
- 1 large lemon, sliced
- 1 large lime, sliced
- 1 large orange, sliced
- 1 large cucumber, sliced
- 1 half gallon of water Place all fruits and vegetables in a pitcher and add water. Allow flavors to blend at least two hours before serving in glasses over ice.
Orange Mint Water
- 3 large oranges, sliced
- 10 mint leaves
- 1 half gallon of water Place mint and orange slices in a pitcher and add water. Allow flavors to blend at least two hours in the refrigerator. Pour in glasses over ice and serve garnished with an orange slice and a sprig of mint
Frozen Fruit Water
- 2 cups frozen apple chunks, grapes, or berries
- 1 half gallon of water Add frozen fruit to a pitcher. Pour water over fruit and let sit at least an hour in the refrigerator. Stir to distribute fruit flavor and serve in glasses over ice. (Note: you can chop up the same kind of fruit, unfrozen, and follow same directions. You’ll need to use more ice when serving the unfrozen fruit flavored water).
- 4 sliced strawberries
- 8 cucumber slices
- 1 half gallon water In a large pitcher, add 4 sliced strawberries and 8 cucumber slices. Fill with the half gallon of water and refrigerate two to four hours. Serve in glasses over ice.
Lemon Lavender Water
- 3 large lemons, thickly sliced
- 1/4 cup fresh lavender
- 1 half gallon of water In a large pitcher, pour water over the lemons and lavender. Refrigerate at least two hours and serve in glasses over ice, garnished with a sprig of lavender.
Dietitians of Canada: Guidelines for Drinking Fluids to Stay Hydrated:
Alberta Health Services
Nutrition Education Project