gain, diabetes, cardiovascular disease. These are some of the
risks associated with consuming sugary drinks, according to a
new report from the Journal of the American College of
Cardiology. Researchers found that the health effects of
drinking one or two servings a day of sugar-sweetened
beverages include a 35 percent greater risk of heart attack or
fatal heart disease.
Dierks, Mayo Clinic registered dietitian and nutrition manager
of the Healthy Living Program says added sugars can be found
in many food sources, not just sugar-sweetened beverages. So
how do we lessen the sugar load? Dierks says try
"decreasing portion size or changing from a product with
added sugars to one with sugar substitutes. Also, take time to
look at labels of food products you purchase."
to sweetened beverages and sodas include plain water, fruit-
or vegetable-infused waters for flavor without the calories
and seltzer waters for the fizz. What about diet soda? She
adds, "Diet soda may help decrease intake from added
sugar-sweetened beverages. However, some research shows that
use of diet products or products with sugar substitutes may
not decrease overall caloric intake."
and drinks with added sugar or "empty calories" can
be hard to avoid and should be taken in moderation. She adds,
"Restricting access to foods may not teach our children
how to handle these foods, resulting in increased intake as
they age. Parents should talk to their children about foods
that should be consumed in moderation and how much is a
since we all deserve a treat on occasion, Dierks says it's
about quality over quantity, so consider a one-ounce bar of
high-quality dark chocolate.