If there is one item to give up when making a lifestyle change it should be sweetened drinks. Words like hidden, sneaky, or empty calories are often associated with sugar-sweetened beverages because they are just that, they contain large amounts of calories from sugar with little to no nutritional value and they don't fill you up. The CDC states that frequently drinking sugar-sweetened beverages can not only lead to weight gain, but also increase the risk for certain diseases such as heart disease, kidney disease, and type 2 diabetes. Sugar-sweetened beverages include soda, sweet tea, sports drinks, juice (that is not 100% juice), specialty coffee drinks, and any other beverage that has added sugar. The good news is there are ways to limit and replace sugary drinks in your daily eating pattern.
Here are a few examples:
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