Bad News First: Drinks to Avoid
Health professionals and writers have long warned about the dangers of sugary diets, especially for people suffering from diabetes, and avoiding soft drinks like Coca Cola or Pepsi have long been a part of their counsel. Packing around 39 grams of sugar per 12 ounce drink, sodas count substantially towards- and often go over- daily recommendations for calories and added sugar. Livestrong reports, “These drinks [sugary sodas and sports drinks] make up over one-third of the added sugar intake in the typical American diet” (Livestrong). And unfortunately diet drinks loaded with artificial sweeteners aren’t healthier. Researchers argue that they “confuse” the body, and though the reasons haven’t been fully uncovered, a strong correlation persists in the consumption of diet drinks, heart problems, and diabetes. A study at the University of Minnesota found a particularly alarming statistic for people who drank diet sodas on a regular basis as opposed to those who did not, “surprisingly, the risk of developing metabolic syndrome was 34 percent higher among those who drank one can of diet soda a day compared with those who drank none” (NY Times).
In addition to the entire lot of sodas, other less glaringly obvious drinks contain a pile of sugar. Coffee drinks with added frills can range enormously- while coffee contains no sugar in itself, the worst Starbucks coffee drink on record came in at 99 grams of sugar! The killer drink- venti hot mulled fruit--grape with chai, orange and cinnamon- isn’t even available in the United States, but there are multiple combinations at the chain in the US which can boast up to 89 grams of sugar. Even simple milk comes in at 12 grams per serving. However, sugar is not the only health evil. Another controversy lies in the source of ingredients- artificial or chemical.