4 Tips for healthier drink choices

George Dawson
Authored by George Dawson
Posted Friday, February 26, 2021 - 10:57pm

We’ve recently shared some tips to make your diet healthier with some easy food swaps you can try, but did you know that drinks can be one of the biggest culprits when it comes to calories? Most of us try to pay attention to snacks and other foods where calories can quickly add up, but not everyone realises that drinks can also add to your daily total. In this short post, we’ll cover some of the swaps you can make if you’re looking for healthier drink alternatives.

Try non-alcoholic beer or wine

If you enjoy a tipple at weekends, your drinks could be contributing to weight gain or could be why you’re having trouble shedding those last few pounds. Alcohol is made through a fermentation process, which creates natural starch and sugars, hence the calories. If you enjoy cocktails or mixed drinks, you also get the calories from those drinks.

Nowadays you can find plenty of non-alcoholic alternatives that will be lower in calories, such as the latest launch of the alcohol free beer Tennent’s Zero. If you’re more of a wine person you can also find some alcohol-free wines, so you can enjoy an evening drink without piling on the calories.

Cut down on sodas and sugary drinks

You might have heard that a 330ml can of coke can contain almost 10 sugar cubes. With 35g of sugar per 330ml serving, sugary drinks and sodas can not only take you over your ideal daily sugar intake but will ramp up the calories ingested over a day. Because such drinks don’t fill you up, it’s easy to drink more than one can alongside a meal.

Ideally, sodas and similar drinks should be enjoyed occasionally, and while there are ongoing debates over the use of sweeteners, most dieticians agree that sugar-free sodas are a good alternative for those looking to reduce their sugar and calorie intake.

Limit how much fruit juice you drink

Many of us turn to fruit juice as a healthier alternative to sugary drinks, but the reality is that fruit juice also contains a lot of sugar. A cup of orange juice, for example, can contain just over 20g of sugar. While some argue that sugar from fruit is better for you than refined sugar, your body will not make the difference. Fruit juice doesn’t have as much fibre as a whole piece of fruit would have, so the sugar in your juice will still trigger blood sugar spikes as refined sugar would.

Dieticians generally recommend limiting yourself to 150ml a day - which is less than your typical glass. Pay attention to portions when buying smaller juice bottles, as many contain 330 to 500 ml. Instead, opt for a smoothie that will be higher in fibre, or better yet, eat a piece of fruit.

How do you take your coffee?

Whether you’re a coffee aficionado or a tea enthusiast, there is nothing wrong with a cuppa in the morning to get your day started. However, the overwhelming presence of coffee chains offering tasty creations has had many of us grabbing a drink on the go – not always realising how many calories can be “hidden” in your morning cup of Joe.

Avoid cream and sugar and try choosing a milk or dairy alternative that is lower in fat. If you want to treat yourself to a syrup or flavouring, choose sugar-free alternatives or use sweeteners like Stevia. You can always gradually cut down on how sweet you enjoy your tea or coffee and you will see that after a while you won’t need it at all!

If you’ve enjoyed this post, you’ll find more tips in our Food & Drink and Health & Beauty sections.

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