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Rethink Your Drink!

What you drink makes a big difference to your health. Drinks like soft drinks, juices, sports and energy drinks are all loaded with sugar and have empty calories. Drinking these drinks on a daily basis can be harmful to your health and may lead to obesity, heart disease and diabetes.

I recently decided that the best way to engage my audience and create awareness was to demonstrate to them how much sugar are in our local drinks. Shocking, right?

Here are some Sugar Facts you should know

  1. There are 16-18 teaspoons of sugar in a 20 oz. soft drink.

  2. Drinking sports and energy drinks can lead to obesity, heart disease and diabetes.

  3. Drinking one soft drink a day can equal an extra 25 pounds of weight per year.

  4. Sugar-loaded beverages are the single major source of added sugar consumed by the average Trinbagonian.

  5. Nearly 50% of the average Trinbagonian increased calorie consumption is from sugar-loaded beverages.

Did you know that…

• Choosing to drink water instead of regular soft drink or juices can save you as many as 247 calories.

• Some juices contain more sugar than soft drinks. Don't be fooled by juices!

• Sugar loaded drinks have 16 teaspoons of sugar and they can also increase your appetite, making it easier to consume even more calories than your body needs.

• Sweeteners that add calories to a beverage have many different names and are not always obvious on the ingredient list. If any of these appear in the ingredient list of your favourite beverage, you are drinking a sugar-sweetened beverage: - high-fructose corn syrup, fructose, fruit juice concentrate, honey, sugar, syrup, corn syrup, sucrose, dextrose, cane sugar.

• You can gain 15 pounds from drinking only one 12 ounce can of sugar loaded beverage each day. Drink water instead!

• Diet and Sugar-Free drinks are also not the answer as these drinks are made with aspartame which is a pesticide and can be harmful to your health.

What can you do to reduce your sugar intake in your drink?

• Become a label reader, Know that 4 grams of sugar is equal to 1 tsp.

• Children should only consume 4 tsp. of sugar per day, Women should consume 6 tsp. of sugar per day and Men can have up to 9 tsp. of sugar per day.

• Look for sugars in your favourite drinks. To cut down dilute it with water or simply make better choices when shopping.

• Forget flavoured waters as these too have added sugars and are no good for your health.

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