A healthy eating style includes all foods and beverages. Many beverages contain added sugars and offer little or no nutrients, while others may provide nutrients but too many calories from saturated fat. Here are some tips to
help you make better beverage choices.
1. Drink water.
Drink water instead of sugary drinks. Non-dietsoda, energy or sports drinks, and other sugar- sweetened drinks contain a lot of calories from added sugars and few nutrients.
2. How much water is enough?
Let your thirst be your guide. Everyone’s needs are different. Most of us get enough water from the foods we eat and the beverages we drink. A healthy body can balance water needs throughout the day. Drink plenty of water if you are very active or live or work in hot conditions.
3. A thrifty option.
Water is usually easy on the wallet. You can save money by drinking water from the tap at home or when eating out.
4. Manage your calories.
Drink water with and between your meals. Adults and children take in about 400 calories per day as beverages—drinking water can help you manage your calories.
5. Kid-friendly drink zone.
Make water, low-fat or fat-free milk, or 100% juice an easy option in your home. Have ready-to-go containers available in the refrigerator. Place them in lunch boxes or backpacks for easy access when kids are away from home. Depending on age, children can drink 1⁄2 to 1 cup, and adults can drink up to 1 cup of 100% fruit or vegetable juice each day.
6. Don’t forget your dairy.
Select low-fat or fat-free milk or fortified soy beverages. They offer key nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D, and potassium. Older children, teens, and adults need 3 cups of milk per day, while children 4 to 8 years old need 21⁄2 cups and children 2 to 3 years old need 2 cups.
7. Enjoy your beverage.
When water just won’t do—enjoy the beverage of your choice, but just cut back. Remember to check the
serving size and the number of servings in the can, bottle, or container to stay within calorie needs. Select smaller cans, cups, or glasses instead of large or supersized options.
8. Water on the go.
Water is always convenient. Fill a clean, reusable water bottle and toss it in your bag or briefcase to quench your thirst throughout the day. Reusable bottles are also easy on the environment.
9. Check the facts.
Use the Nutrition Facts label to choose beverages atthe grocery store. The food label and ingredients list contain information about added sugars, saturated fat, sodium, and calories to help you make better choices.
10. Compare what you drink.
Food-A-Pedia, an online feature available at SuperTracker.usda.gov, can help you compare calories, added sugars, and fats in your favorite beverages.
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