Rethink your Drink!

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Sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) are any drinks that are sweetened with various forms of added sugars, such as table sugar, syrups, honey, and sugars from concentrated fruit. Examples include regular soda, fruit drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks, sweetened waters, and coffee and tea beverages with added sugars. Sugary drinks are leading sources of added sugars in the American diet. Frequently drinking sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with weight gain, obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, kidney diseases and tooth decay.

This also affects children’s health. The single largest source of calories in children’s diets are sugary drinks, in which about 60% of American children and adolescents consume sugary beverages every day, and almost half of children between the ages 2 and 4 drink sugary beverages daily. Water and plain milk are the only drinks experts say toddlers need for a healthy diet. To learn more about healthy drinks for toddlers, click here

Limiting sugary drink intake can help maintain a healthy weight and have healthy dietary patterns. Below are some healthy alternatives for drinks:

  • Add citrus or sliced cucumbers to your water.
  • 100% fruit juice. Sweet, full of vitamins and counts as a serving of fruit.
  • Vegetable juice or V8: Packed with flavor; high in vitamins C, A, and potassium and around 50 calories per cup.
  • Non-fat or low-fat milk: High in calcium and protein—and you need both. You could also try soy milk, rice milk or almond milk.
  • Unsweetened Coffee and Tea: Get a boost on less than five calories per cup, plus it’s high in antioxidants.

The annual Soda Free Summer Challenge is underway! This challenge is designed to inspire you to make a lasting commitment to your health by reducing or eliminating your intake of added sugar from beverages during the summer months. Visit our community calendar for dates and times of community events to sign up for the Soda Free Summer Challenge.

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