The 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that the daily intake of calories from added sugars not exceed 10 percent of total calories.
Easy, right? Wrong! Sugar-sweetened beverages are a significant sources of added sugars in the diet of U.S. adults and account for approximately one third of added sugar consumption. To top it off, research shows that consumption of sugar sweetened beverages may be the single largest driver of obesity. So how much sugar are we really getting from beverages?
Starbucks Chai Tea Latte (16 oz) = 42 gm or 10.5 tsp
Gatorade (20 oz) = 34 gm or 8.5 tsp
Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice (16 oz) = 53 gm or 13.5 tsp
Mountain Dew (20 oz) = 77 gm or 19.25 tsp
Vitamin Water (20 oz) = 32 gm or 8 tsp
Rock Star (16 oz) = 64 gm or 16 tsp
**1 tsp = 4 gm sugar = 1 sugar cube
So what are some better substitutions if I’m looking for a change from water?
Infused water = 0 gm or 0 tsp
La Croix = 0 gm or 0 tsp
Unsweetened Tea= 0 gm or 0 tsp
Guess it isn’t so easy to keep sugars within 10% of our daily calories after all! To put it into perspective, adding one 20 oz Mountain Dew to your diet every day for a year would lead to a 30 lb wt gain! So stick with beverages like water, seltzer water, and infused water.
Lauren Ott, RD is a registered dietitian at the University of Colorado Anschutz Health and Wellness Center at the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora. Check out her website www.thedessertdietitian.com or follow her Facebook page and Instagram @thedessertdietitian for nutrition tips.