Day 15 of the Healthy Steps No Added Sweetener Challenge

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Two weeks down, one to go! You’re almost there!
Sweetened beverages are one of the major sources of added sweeteners in America. Did you know that, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (1), Americans drink about 45 gallons of sugar-sweetened beverages per year? Sugary drinks account for almost half of all added sugars consumed in the American diet. A typical 20-ounce bottle of soda contains nearly 15 teaspoons of sugar!! And many people switch away from sugar-sweetened beverages to beverages sweetened with non-caloric sweeteners, like diet soda. (Remind yourself why you should limit your intake of non-caloric sweeteners here.)
So what exactly should you drink if you’re trying to avoid added sweeteners? Here are some of our favorite ‘no added sweetener’ beverages:
  • Purified Water (always the best!)
  • Herbal Tea, from tea bags (hot or iced)
  • Sparkling Water (flavored is ok, but check the ingredient list: things like carbonated water and natural flavor are allowed, but look out for sweeteners like Sucralose, aspartame, or acesulfame K).
  • Homemade Fruit-Infused Water: float slices of lemon, lime, orange, strawberries, cucumber, whole raspberries, or chopped mint in a big pitcher of filtered water and leave in your fridge. Every time you drink some, you’ll taste a hint of whatever you’ve infused.
  • Green Tea, from tea bags (hot or iced; limit to 2 servings caffeinated beverages per day)
  • Coffee (add a splash of milk if you like, but avoid all those other additives; limit to 2 servings caffeinated beverages per day)
  • Milk, unsweetened (cow, almond, soy, coconut, hemp, etc…just UNSWEETENED!)
  • Vegetable juice (made with no fruit; be aware of the sodium content)
  • Wine, dry, red or white (if you consume alcohol, limit to 4 small servings per week; avoid most cocktails, dessert wine and champagne due to sugar content)
 A good goal is to consume at least 64 ounces of fluid per day (don’t count caffeinated or alcoholic beverages toward your fluid ounces). Try some of the above out if you’re getting bored and craving some of your old sweetened beverages again.
Keep up the great work!
Lindsay Pasdera, MS RDN