Sugary drinks are rich in calories and if we tend to consume them daily and in excess, we will have a risk factor to develop obesity. Some studies have already identified the excess of sugary drinks as one of the factors to take into account in childhood obesity and adults. This type of drinks, in addition to being caloric, have what we call “empty calories”, that is, they provide many calories but few nutrients.
What is considered a sugar drink?
This is the first step to consider. There are certain types of drinks that we can think of as more or less healthy drinks, but nevertheless, they are high in sugars. Below we can see a list of sugary drinks that we have to take into account to restrict them in the diet:
- Refreshing drinks with gas, cola type.
- Fruit-based commercial juices
- Alcoholic drinks
- Sport drinks
- Energy drinks
Here the important thing is to read the nutrition labeling and identify the part that reports on the sugar content. It usually comes in the form of: “Carbohydrate content, of which sugars:” That is the important fact, how many sugars the drink has per 100 ml. If you have more than 5 grams of sugar per 100 ml, we can consider it as a sugar drink.
How much is an excess of sugary drinks?
Although here we are going to give some indicative data, the quantities depend on the ages, weight and characteristics of each one, but in a rough way we can establish this scale:
- Excessive consumption: a sugary drink or more every day.
- Medium-high consumption: a sugary drink or more almost every day.
- Average consumption: a sugary drink day yes, day no.
- Optimal consumption: from one to three sugary drinks a week.
- Ideal consumption: no or two sugary drinks a week.
How to reduce the consumption of sugary drinks?
As we have said again and again, the best way to be aware of a habit is to write it down. Write down each time you drink a sugary drink and, at the end of the week, take a look at the consumption scale seen above to see where you stand.
Without a doubt, the best substitute for a sugary drink is water. Most of the meals you make a week should be accompanied exclusively by water . And if you decide on a soft drink, its zero version may be the least of the evils. Although as we say, better water.
Another strategy that can be used is to avoid the consumption of sugary drinks from Monday to Friday, where we have a more fixed routine. And consume them occasionally during the weekend or in that meal where we know it is harder for us to drink water.
With regard to the juices, better if we avoid the commercial ones and we make our own natural juice based on fruit. The fruit also has sugars, but the difference is that a juice made by us has more fiber and, therefore, the effect of blood sugar is not so direct. In addition to being taking much more nutrients than with a commercial juice.
It is not about eliminating foods from the diet, but there are some such as sugary drinks that should be restricted and considered as occasional. Their abuse can cause long-term health damage and we should be aware.