Rethink Your Drink: Reduce Sugary Beverages In Your Diet With These Tips

July 31, 2018 - 9:19 am

DETROIT (WWJ) - Before you reach for your coffee or that glass of juice, you may want to take a moment and "Rethink Your Drink."

The American Heart Association and the Delta Dental Foundation have teamed up to get you to "rethink your drink." The goal is to replace sugar-sweetened beverages with low calorie or no calorie drinks like water.

Teri Battaglieri, with the Delta Dental Foundation, said soda pop is one of the worst sugary beverages, but juice, sports drinks and even chocolate milk are offenders as well. 

"The average American consumes 34 pounds of added sugar a year," Battaglieri said. "Sugary beverages are bad for your body, they lead to heart disease, they lead to Type 2 diabetes and they're really bad for your teeth."

Easy ways to rethink your drink include adding fruit slices or herbs to infuse your water (click here for a list of recipes), or diluting sparkling water with a splash of juice.

How much added sugar is too much? Here are the recommended daily limits:

  • Newborns and infants: 0 tsp. (0g)
  • Toddlers and preschoolers: 4 tsp. (16g)
  • Children ages 4-8: 3 tsp. (12g)
  • Pre-teens and teenagers: 5-8 tsp. (20-32g)
  • Adult women: 6 tsp. (24g)
  • Adult men: 9 tsp. (36g)

Ways to rethink your drink:

  • Reduce the number and portion size of sugary beverages -- only drink them once in a while, 8 ounces or less.
  • Freeze 100 percent fruit juice in an ice cube tray, then add one frozen cube to a glass of water for flavor.
  • Add a splash of 100 percent fruit juice to plain water.
  • Add zest to your water with fresh fruit slices such as lemon or lime.
  • Stock the fridge with a jug of cold water and bottled water for when you’re on-the-go.
  • Choose water or milk (1 percent or nonfat for those older than age 2).
  • Don’t let babies and toddlers carry around sippy cups or bottles containing sugary beverages (and no bottles in bed).
  • Brush with fluoride toothpaste twice a day for two minutes each time, and floss once a day.