Thursday, September 15, 2011

What's in your glass?

Today I was contacted by a local newspaper intern who is writing a story about beverages to avoid when trying to lose weight.  She wanted my opinion so I came up with a list of 10 beverages that people intent on losing weight should avoid and I thought I'd share them with you. Please note that these are in no particular order!!

1. Regular Soda - a 20 ounce soda contains 227 calories

2. Sweet Tea - a large 32 ounce sweet tea from your favorite golden arches restaurant has 300 calories

3. Slurpee's/Slushies - a 24 ounce slushies contains nearly 200 calories

4. Fancy coffee drinks - a Grande 16 ounce cafe latte with 2% milk contains 190 calories.  Switch to skim milk and save 60 calories.  Many of the flavored, topped with whipped cream coffee drinks contain way more calories.  Did you know that the whipped cream on top contributes at least 100 calories?

5. Milkshakes - a 16 ounce triple thick chocolate shake has 440 calories while the same size McCafe chocolate shake has 720 calories!  Note, hand-dipped, hard pack milkshakes contain far more calories.

6.  Alcoholic beverages - light beer are 90-120 calories, regular beers range from 140-200 calories, wine contains 62-160 calories per 4 ounce serving, and mixed drinks range from 280 to over 800 calorie, especially for creamy, frozen drinks.

7. Energy Drinks - an 8 ounce Red Bull has 115 calories while a 12 ounce Monster has 150 calories.

8. Whole milk - an 8 ounce serving of whole milk contains 149 calories, 2% has 121 calories and 1% has 104 calories.  Skim, or fat-free milk has only 90 calories per 8 ounce serving.  Did you know that skim milk is equal in nutrition to whole milk?  The only thing you'll be missing is the fat and the calories that come from fat!

9. Juice - an 8 ounce serving of 100% fruit juice has about 110 calories while an 8 ounce Sunny D has 120 calories.  The difference in calories doesn't seem like much but the difference in nutrition is huge!  The 100% fruit juice has nothing added to juice that has been squeezed from real fruit.   The other product, along with juice drinks, cocktails and beverages contains added sugars, colorings, vitamins and minerals and only 5-10% real fruit juice.  So make sure to choose 100% fruit juice and drink it in moderation if you're watching your weight.

10. Smoothies - a 16 ounce smoothie contains about 270 calories.  Smoothies contain loads of highly nutritious ingredients - yogurt and/or milk, juice, fruit, etc.  Enjoy a smoothie for breakfast or as a snack but keep portions in mind. 

So, if you're watching your weight, drink more plain water and choose 100% fruit juice and low-fat or fat free milk but choose the last two in moderation (1-2 servings of each per day).  They are exceedingly good for you but do contribute calories.  As always, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, more whole grains and lean protein sources and exercise most, if not all, days of the week. 
To your health!!

Please note that all calories vary between brands.  The calories noted above are averages.

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