Monday, January 26, 2015

What to Drink Besides Diet Soda?

Hi Laurie, I am 59 years old and fairly healthy.  I go to the gym 3 times weekly. I feel very healthy. I have an active job as an Emergency RN. 
My question is concerning diet drinks. I have gone from regular sugar soft drinks to diets drinks(Coke Zero) and occasional ice tea sweetened with Splenda. I would like to now find a substitute for sweetened drinks. I have read plenty of info concerning non-sugar sweeteners. Would you know of any suggestions?
Sondra N.

Hi Sondra,
It's a great move, getting off of sweetened drinks; So many calories that are just wasted!

There hasn't been shown to be any harm in consuming artificially sweetened drinks, in moderation (say, less than 6 per day). Especially now that there is a variety of sweeteners (so you would likely be getting some nutrasweet, some sucralose, some stevia, and not a big amount of any one). But some people don't care for the taste, or just don't want one more unnecessary ingredient added to their drinks.

I, myself, am always seeking a beverage that has neither sugar nor a non-nutritive sweetener, and they are difficult to find. 
Here are a few options:

Tea: There are hundreds of varieties of teas. It doesn't have to be a black tea or a green tea or a caffeinated tea. You can get peppermint or blueberry or jasmine teas. I brew a bag in a small amount of hot water and then add ice (be sure to put a metal knife in a glass with ice before you pour in a hot beverage to keep the glass from cracking). Any tea aisle in any grocery store will surprise you with all the fruity, flowery, and minty flavors. I've had licorice, gingersnap, and my current favorite is mango! So you always have a different flavor to try, or an old stand-by to enjoy. They don't need sugar because of the mild sweet taste of the plant used (it's not really from a tea plant--it's from flowers or herbs so there's no caffeine), but if you like you can add a bit of sugar, honey or agave nectar for a little sweet taste with only 10 or 15 calories.

Water: You can flavor water yourself with a small amount of juice. You can even cut up fruit and keep it in the bottom of a water pitcher for the day. Think citrus, strawberries, even kiwi. Sliced cucumber gives water a refreshing taste as well.

Flavored seltzer/carbonated water: My current favorite to replace soda. Check the label carefully--there are many brands that say "zero calories!" or "just fruit-flavored carbonated water" but they contain artificial sweeteners. Brands with no sweetener include Seagrams, Canada Dry, Perrier and La Croix and include flavors like lemon, lime, grapefruit, raspberry and even coconut. 

Sometimes I'll find a "lightly sweetened" option like "Honest Tea" or a few random others that provide just 80 calories in a large bottle instead of the typical 180 or more. 

These are some good places to start looking for your next favorite thirst quencher. Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. I found your site by searching internet and your site is providing various diet, health and nutritionist tips. All the information is very helpful. Keep helping people. Thanks