There are times when you’ll want to enjoy a beverage other than water. Mix it up by adding fresh or frozen fruit to your water or seltzer. Add a splash of 100% fruit juice to your seltzer for a refreshing homemade spritzer or try one of our great fruit smoothie recipes.
Fruit-infused water Spritzer Fruit Smoothie
But when you’re really craving something else, here are other options to drink on occasion and in small amounts. Remember the traffic light!
Low-fat & Nonfat Milk
A glass of milk is full of healthy nutrients such as vitamins A and D and calcium, which help build strong bones and teeth. But be careful! While low-fat chocolate or strawberry milk have some of the same nutrients as unflavored milk, they also have added sugar, which contribute unnecessary calorie intake. The best choice is unflavored skim or 1% milk.
Soy, almond, and rice milk are healthy choices for people who do not drink milk or are sensitive to lactose, the naturally-occurring milk sugar. Several companies offer lactose-free dairy products. Be sure to read the label on these products ensuring they contain vitamins A and D and calcium – the powerful nutrients that make milk a go-to beverage. As many flavored milk alternatives contain added sugar, look for the “unsweetened” versions and always check the nutrition facts label. Choose the option with the fewest grams of sugar per serving.
These beverages have moderate amounts of sugar (6 – 12 g of sugar per 12 oz), sodium, or artificial sweeteners. Drink these only occasionally:
- 100% fruit juice
- Diet soda
- Diet iced tea
- Low-calorie sports drink
- Flavored Waters
A special note about 100% Fruit Juice:
It’s important to read labels to ensure the juice you’re drinking is really 100% juice. Creative marketing can be used to fool consumers into thinking the product is 100% fruit juice but in reality, it’s a fruit-flavored drink with added sugar. Since fruit already has natural sugar, any sugar added to a juice only adds extra calories.
100% fruit juice is packed with vitamins and minerals. But be careful! While it may be free from added sugar, it still has natural sugar, and the calories from natural sugar can also add up. Without the fiber found in whole fruit, drinking juice won’t fill you up the same way eating fruit will, increasing your chance of overeating.
Limit the amount of 100% juice consumed in your house. Children should drink no more than 4 ounces per day, while adults should drink no more than 6 ounces. Try mixing 2 ounces of your favorite 100% fruit juice with 6 ounces of seltzer water to create a bubbly fruit drink with fewer calories.