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Sip or Skip?

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Unless you stick to water all day long, there’s a good chance that your beverage choices are adding a bunch of sugar to your diet. Specialty coffees loaded with syrup, energy drinks, sports drinks, processed fruit juices — all are sneaky culprits of added sugar that can end up expanding your waistline and wreaking havoc on your health. Filtered water is a safe bet. But if you’re looking for a little more flavor, try these healthy swaps:

Coffee

If you need a cup of joe to get going in the morning, no judgment here! Coffee consumption is associated with reduced risk of premature death and cardiovascular death, heart disease, cancer, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, cirrhosis and diabetes. Unfortunately, your large caramel mocha is filled with so much sugar, you probably aren’t reaping the health benefits that coffee has to offer. The best way to enjoy your coffee is black, but if you want a little flavor, skip the sugary syrup and order your latte with some cinnamon instead.

Fruit Juice

With all of the labels on grocery store fruit juices, each claiming to be healthy and natural, it’s easy to get duped when it comes to buying healthy fruit juice. In addition to added sugar, research shows that many fruit juices contain toxic ingredients like heavy metals. If you’re purchasing juice in a carton, always check your labels. Skip anything that contains added sugar. The best swap here is to ditch the grocery store juices all together and juice your own fruit at home!

Smoothies

Smoothies are another beverage that look healthy at first glance but are often loaded with excess calories, carbohydrates and sugar. Store-bought smoothies are the biggest offender. The best option is to make your own smoothie at home, so you know exactly what’s going in it. But if you’re ordering out, order smart. Ask for water or almond milk as your base, opt for no frozen yogurt or sherbet in the mix, and make sure you’re getting fresh fruit and plenty of healthy greens.

Sports drinks

Sports drinks like Gatorade and Powerade promise to hydrate you properly after exercise, but guess what? Water can do that! Sports drinks are often loaded with sugar — not the kind of replenishment that your body needs after a workout. The smartest swap? Water!

Flavored water drops

Sometimes, you just need a little flavor — it’s understandable! But flavored drops or powders for your water, often calorie-free, contain artificial sweeteners that come with a whole host of health risks. Research shows they raise your risk of obesity and Type 2 diabetes. If you want a little more taste in your water, add lemon or lime slices! You can also try making herb-infused water at home.

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