When it comes to watching sugar intake, many people focus on food. It is true that treats like cookies, cake, ice cream and other desserts are the obvious culprits. Then there are the hidden sugars that you do not think of, like those in sauces and marinades. But the biggest hidden source of sugar is likely accompanying your every meal. In case you have not guessed yet, there is sugar lurking in your beverage.
Whether you are trying to lose weight or avoiding sugar for medical reasons, such as sugar intolerance or diabetes, be sure to check your drink before you just chug it down. The best way to avoid sneaking sugar into your beverages is to skip juice and stick to water and unsweetened beverages like coffee or tea. Coffee without flavorings and syrup is sugar free, but a splash of milk or nut milk is another option. If plain water is too boring for you, then try squeezing lime or lemon or going for a spa experience with a cucumber slice. Infused water recipes can flavor your water with berries or herbs, like refreshing mint, without adding extra calories.
When it comes to milk or juice, choose 100% natural juices and those that are labeled with no added sugar. Fresh squeezed juice is another option. Even without added sugars, keep the portion of juice small, around four ounces, to avoid drinking tons of calories. Low-sodium vegetable juice is another option for a juicy morning drink. Vegetable juice contains less sugar than fruit juices because vegetables often have few or no sugars. Milk naturally contains sugar, so do not add flavored syrups and keep your portion size small. Milk is only safe to drink if you do not suffer from lactose intolerance or use lactose-free milk or Lactaid tablets to help you process the milk sugars.
Overall, if you have sugar intolerance or other health conditions, it is important to avoid drinking soda, as well as other high sugar beverages like fruit punch, fruit drinks, energy drinks and sweet tea.
When it comes to alcoholic beverages, like wine and cocktails, you should likely skip the indulgence. Wines can have high levels of sorbitol and fructose, which are not well tolerated by those with sugar intolerance. If you do indulge, dry white wines contain fewer sugars and are better tolerated. Cocktails often contain syrups, fruits and other sources of sugar, so they are best avoided.