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Nutrition Basics

Sugar Sweetened Beverages

Soda Free Summer

The Southern Nevada Health District is kicking off its annual Soda Free Summer Challenge. The challenge is designed to inspire you to make a lasting commitment to health by reducing or eliminating sweetened beverages over the summer months. We invite you to….

Take the Soda Free Summer Pledge!

Pledge to go soda free or to reduce your soda consumption over the summer.

Would you sit down and eat 10 teaspoons of sugar? If you drink a 12 oz. can of regular soda, you might as well be. A diet high in added sugar is associated with being overweight or obese.

Sugar sweetened beverages (SSB), such as sodas, sports drinks, sweetened coffee, energy drinks and even sweetened teas and fruit juices, are a large part of the problem.

Find out how many teaspoons of sugar are in your favorite drink! Enter the number of servings on the label and the number of grams per serving and it will calculate how many teaspoons are in your drink.

Sugar Calculator

Number of Servings:
Grams of Sugar Per Serving:
Total Teaspoons of Sugar:


Label from Soda Drink

Is sugar hiding in your beverage?

Sweeteners that add calories to a beverage go by many different names and are not always obvious. Some common caloric sweeteners are listed below.

If these appear in the ingredients list of your favorite beverage, you are drinking a sugar sweetened beverage.

Agave Glucose Malt syrup
Brown sugar High-fructose corn syrup Molasses
Corn sweetener Honey Raw sugar
Corn syrup Invert Sugar Sucrose
Dextrose Lactose Sugar
Fruit juice concentrates Maltose Syrup

 

 

Health Consequences of Drinking Soda

Soda was once considered an occasional treat, but consumption has steadily increased over the last three decades. Drinking too much soda could have health consequences ranging from weight gain to osteoporosis to kidney problems, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Weight gain: Many concerns about soda center on sugar. Research has shown that adults and children who regularly drink beverages high in sugar tend to have higher calorie intake overall and experience weight gain. As weight increases, so does the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Metabolic syndrome: A study in the journal Circulation found that middle-aged adults who drink one or more regular or diet sodas daily had an increased risk of developing metabolic syndrome — a cluster of conditions that includes high blood pressure, excess weight gain around the waist, high cholesterol and insulin resistance.

Osteoporosis: Those who drink soda are less likely to consume milk, an important source of calcium. Lower calcium levels can increase the risk of osteoporosis, a condition in which bones are weak and prone to fracture. It's possible that the phosphoric acid and caffeine found in soft drinks may promote the loss of calcium in bones.

Kidney stones: Some evidence indicates that sodas are linked to the formation of kidney stones. Drinking two or more diet or regular sodas daily may increase the risk of chronic kidney disease.

Promotes tooth decay: Soft drinks have emerged as one of the most significant dietary sources of tooth decay, affecting people of all ages. Acids and acidic sugar byproducts in soft drinks soften tooth enamel, contributing to the formation of cavities.

Sugar Sweetened Beverage Graphic
Click on graphic to enlarge

Healthy Alternatives

Next time you quench your thirst try one of these options:

  • Water: Try water with added citrus or sliced cucumbers. Always refreshing and is great for the skin. Try some of these great flavored water recipes as well to mix it up a bit!
  • 100% fruit juice: A sweet treat full of vitamins and it counts as a serving of fruit. Don’t overdo it though, limit yourself to 6oz.
  • Vegetable juice or V8: Packed with flavor; high in vitamins C, A, and potassium and around 50 calories per cup. If possible choose the low sodium versions.
  • Non-fat or low-fat milk: High in calcium and protein—and you need both. You could also try soy milk, rice milk or almond milk.
  • Light yogurt and fruit smoothie: Creamy and sweet, high in calcium and only about 170 calories per cup.
  • Tea, unsweetened: Get a boost on less than five calories per cup, plus it's high in antioxidants.

 

Download our Sugar Sweetened Beverages Fact Sheet to learn more.

 

 


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