Soda and sweetened drinks are one of the biggest sources of hidden sugars in our diet. A single can of soda contains upwards of a staggering 33g of sugar. However, if you’re used to chugging soda, sweet tea, or other sweetened drinks every day, making the transition to drinking just water can be difficult. I live in the south, and sweet tea, Mountain Dew, and Cheerwine are considered cultural gold, so today I’m going to be sharing some healthy, low sugar alternatives to these drinks that you can enjoy in place of those super sweet, sugar packed indulgences.
Sugar is detrimental to so many facets of our overall health. It affects the insulin levels in our blood, which creates inflammation in our arties, and stresses the heart, possibly leading to heart disease. It greatly affects our blood pressure, creates inflammation throughout the entire body, destroys our skin, causes weight gain, diabetes, and fatty liver. Sugar in the system induces sugar cravings, leads to sugar “crashes” which cause irritability, loss of energy, and mood swings, and can even increase hunger. Cutting as much sugar from our diets as possible reduces the risk of so many illnesses and diseases-and it’s not incredibly hard to do! With ALL health goals, it’s best to start with small achievable steps that will lead you to a much bigger goal, so perhaps starting your no sugar journey begins with losing those sugary drinks. Here’s a few tasty and refreshing substitutes to get you started. Try replacing one of two of your sugary drinks each day with one of these alternatives, and soon you will find that you don’t miss that sugar after all! And the benefits will be SO rewarding-healthier heart, clearer skin, lower blood pressure, less aches and pains caused by inflammation, losing some extra weight, and a more even flow of mood and energy!
Fruit Juice Spritzers
Fruit juice spritzers are a great place to start when quitting soda. They contain around a third of the sugar that you’ll find in a can of soda (12g of sugar per cup), taste sweet and are carbonated. While fruit juice spritzers are probably not something you want to be drinking every day if you’re cutting back on sugar, they’re still a much better choice than soda. To prepare a fruit juice spritzer simply combine half a cup of your favorite fruit juice with half a cup of soda water and enjoy.
If you choose the right ingredients, you can easily create green smoothies that contain less than 10g of sugar and still have a subtle sweet taste. The great thing about green smoothies is that because they’re packed full of fiber, vitamins and minerals, any sugar they contain will be released into your bloodstream slowly, so you won’t experience any of the energy surges and crashes that usually come with sugar consumption. To find low sugar green smoothie recipes, simply do a search online and experiment with the recipes that come up until you find one that you like. For the sweetest taste, try carrots, raspberries, strawberries and cucumber in your smoothie!
Fruit Infused Water
Fruit infused water contains no sugar or calories, so is perfect if you’re on a sugar detox. It shares the same benefits of standard water and will keep you hydrated, brighten your skin and enhance your energy levels. However, the fruit infusion gives it a subtle and sweet flavor, so if you find standard water too bland, give fruit infused water a try.
To prepare fruit infused water, you’ll need a mason jar and a cup of 2-3 chopped fruits that you’d like to infuse into the water. Once you have the fruits ready, place them in the mason jar, fill it with water and then allow it to infuse in the fridge for at least 24 hours.
Like fruit infused water, fruit tea contains zero calories and sugar, and is just as healthy as standard water. However, even without any sugar, it has a surprisingly strong, sweet and satisfying flavor.
There are lots of different fruit teas you can try and each one has a very distinctive flavor and offers differing health benefits. Your local store should sell a wide range of fruit teas, so try a few different teas until you find a favorite.
Coffee isn’t sweet but it’s still tasty, hydrating and contains no sugar. If you drink it instead of soda, you’ll cut out 33g of sugar per day. To ensure that your coffee contains no sugar, avoid buying it in coffee shops and drink it black or with milk.
For an amazing tasting beverage, try this incredible infused water recipe! It will cure that thirst for something sweet and will keep you hydrated.
MANGO, RASPBERRY AND GINGER INFUSED WATER
5 cups water
1 cup ice cubes optional
1 mango peeled and cubed
1/2 pint raspberries
1 (2-inch) piece ginger peeled and thinly sliced
Mix together, and let infuse for at least 3 hours, longer for a stronger taste. Enjoy!
If you’re interested in going completely sugar free, and need help with a diet plan, setting goals, and finding motivation, please contact me for a free and fun personal consultation to see how we might best work together to reach ALL of your heath and wellness goals. It’s time to live your best life possible-I can’t wait to guide you!!
From my website www.Beewell.com