Friday, January 13, 2012

Myth: Beverages aren't as important as food when trying to cut calories and lose weight.

Answer: BUSTED!

Variety of juices, sports drinks and sodas - be wary of the sugar and calories that may be in these and other beverages
Calories from beverages are just as important as calories from food. With the new year, many people are trying to lose weight, so it is important to be aware of the amount of calories you are getting from both food and beverages. Many beverages are referred to as “liquid candy” because of the amount of calories they contain.

It only takes consuming an extra 100 calories a day to gain 10 pounds in a year! That’s less than the amount of calories in one can of regular cola. Don’t forget the hidden calories in 100% juice. While 100% juice does give you nutrients that colas do not, it is a concentrated source of fruit sugars. An 8-ounce cup of orange juice has 112 calories. You get more nutrients and feeling of fullness from eating the whole fruit than drinking the fruit juice.

Warming up in the winter with hot beverages can also give you unwanted calories. Here are some common winter time drinks and the calorie punch they provide:
  • McCafe large peppermint hot chocolate with non-fat milk: 340 calories, 5g fat
  • McCafe large mocha: 400 calories, 14g fat
  • McCafe large mocha with non-fat milk: 330 calories, 6g fat
  • Starbucks venti white chocolate mocha: 580 calories, 22g fat
  • Starbucks venti pumpkin spiced latte: 470 calories, 15g fat
  • Starbucks grande white hot chocolate with whipped cream: 490 calories, 19g fat

The good news: It only takes 100 less calories per day to lose 10 pounds in a year.

For more information, check out these articles on coffee drinks or soft drinks on the MissouriFamilies website.

Contributors: Mary Keels, Dietetic Intern, MDHSS; Denise Schmitz, M.A., R.D., MU Extension Nutrition & Health Education Specialist,

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