Welcome to the Empire BlueCross BlueShield blog.

Here you’ll find helpful information about low-income health care and tips to improve your overall health and wellness.

Rethink your drink – what’s really in your beverage?

Many popular drinks have added sugars or sweeteners. Drinks that seem healthy, like fruit juice or sports drinks, can still have a lot of added sugar. Extra sugar just adds calories and doesn’t have any nutrients or vitamins. Here are some common drinks and their amounts of added sugar.

  • Juice drink (not 100% juice) 23 teaspoons (97 grams), 305 calories
  • Soda 22 teaspoons (92 grams), 242 calories
  • Energy 17 teaspoons (71 grams), 230 calories
  • Sports 12 teaspoons (50 grams), 125 calories
  • Chocolate milk 9 teaspoons (38 grams), 160 calories

Drinking one sugary drink a day can mean you’re getting double or triple the amount of added sugar that’s healthy for your body. Just one sugary drink a day can cause health problems like weight gain, obesity, tooth decay, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Take a look at the label on your drink. How much sugar are you drinking? A teaspoon has 4 grams of sugar.

The American Heart Association recommends these daily maximums for added sugar intake:

  • 6 teaspoons (24 grams)
  • 3-6 teaspoons (12-24 grams)
  • About 9 teaspoons (36 grams)

Sugar hides under all of these names:

  • Barley malt
  • Brown sugar
  • Cane sugar
  • Corn syrup or corn sweetener
  • Dextrose
  • Evaporated cane juice
  • Fructose
  • Fruit juice concentrate
  • Glucose
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Honey
  • Lactose
  • Maple syrup
  • Molasses
  • Nectar
  • Raw sugar
  • Sucrose
  • Syrup

Make healthier choices if sugar or one of these sweeteners is listed in the first three ingredients in your drink.

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