Hidden Calories in Beverages

Lisa Nelson, RD, LN Health Pro
  • Losing weight will promote a lower blood pressure. If you are working to lose weight you need to make adjustments to your food choices. However, don't forget what you drink has an impact on your success also. There can be a surprising amount of calories in beverages.


    Let's say you are reducing your calorie intake to 1500 calories per day. If you stop at Starbucks for a 16 oz Vanilla Frappucino with 2% milk, a 12 oz. can of Dr. Pepper with lunch, and a 16 oz. sweetened ice tea with dinner, you've consumed around 565 calories just from what you drank. . . and this is assuming you consumed water between meals. That leaves you just 935 calories to "spend" on food for the day if you are going to achieve your goal of 1500 calories per day.

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    1. Portion size


    Keep your portion sizes small. For example, you do not need a 12 ounce glass of juice in the morning, cut back to 6 ounces of fruit juice or better yet replace the juice with a piece of fruit. A 12 ounce glass of juice contains 192 calories.


    2. Read food labels correctly


    If you look at the label on a 20 ounce bottle of regular Coca-Cola you'll likely see 100 calories. However, you need to look closer and determine how many servings are in that bottle. There are 2 ½ servings per 20 ounce bottle of Coca-Cola. That means you must multiply 100 x 2.5 to see that you actually consume 250 calories when you drink an entire bottle.


    3. Select low fat options


    Opt for low fat beverages. If you order a coffee, request fat free or 1% milk be added instead of whole milk. (FYI - 2% milk is not considered a low fat choice.) Stock your refrigerator with reduced fat milk instead of whole milk or 2% milk. Whole milk contains 150 calories per 8 ounce serving, 2% milk 120 calories, 1% milk 105 calories, and fat free milk 90 calories per 8 ounce serving.


    4. Eliminate sugar sweetened beverages


    Keep soft drinks, lemonade, kool-aid, fruit punch and all the other sugar sweetened beverages to enjoy on special occasions. On a daily basis fill up on what you body really needs to optimal health - water. You can give water added flavor with added lemon or lime slice.


    Quick Tips:

    • Carry a bottle of water with you during the day so thirst doesn't tempt you to make a less healthy choice.
    • Don't keep sugar sweetened beverages in the house.
    • Serve water with meals.
    • Dilute fruit juice with water.

    Are you striving to lower blood pressure? If so, you can access the free e-course 7 Natural Ways to Lower Blood Pressure at http://lowerbloodpressurewithlisa.com.

Published On: December 12, 2011