Summer is here and we are being bombarded with marketing messages that encourage us to “cool down with something delicious” from the Tim Horton’s cold specialty beverages menu or to “savour every sip of summer” with a frozen real lemonade from the summer drink days menu at McDonald’s. Our environment tempts us with endless fruit drinks, sweetened teas, sodas and coffee drinks that contribute hundreds of calories to the average person’s daily intake.
The problem with this is that most people don’t register a feeling of fullness when they drink calories the same way they do when they eat calories, which means that we can easily down 400-500 calories worth of soda (especially if refills are free) before the burger and fries we ordered reach the table and still have plenty of room left for our meal. This is because liquids, which usually contain simple carbohydrates, move quickly through the stomach and get absorbed in the small intestine; whereas, most solid foods contain protein, fat and fibre, which increase satiety and slow down digestion. If you are trying to manage your weight and looking for a place to cut back on calories the easiest place to start is with liquid calories.
To give you an idea of how some of your favourite drinks are contributing to your daily intake here is the calorie and sugar breakdown for some popular summer drinks. Keep in mind that the World Health Organization recommends that only 10% of your daily calories come from added sugar, which means that if you are eating a 2000 Calorie diet you should limit your sugar intake to 12.5 tsp for the WHOLE DAY. Some of the drinks below contain more sugar than that in one serving.
MCDONALD'S REAL FRUIT SMOOTHIES (Medium): 200-270 Calories; 11- 16.5 tsp of sugar
TIM HORTON'S ICED CAPPUCCINO (Medium): 360 Calories; 9 tsp of sugar
STARBUCKS CINNAMON ROLL FRAPPUCCINO (Grande): 510 Calories; 21 tsp of sugar
COCA COLA (591mL bottle): 248 Calories; 15.5 tsp of sugar
V8 TROPICAL BLEND SPLASH (16 oz): 140 Calories; 8 tsp of sugar
SNAPPLE LEMON ICED TEA (16 oz): 150 Calories; 9 tsp of sugar