EXPLORING THE SWEET SIDE: The Pros and Cons of Different Types of Sugar in Beverages



According to the USDA, added sugar should not exceed 10% of our caloric intake. That translates to a cap of 50 grams of sugar daily for the standard 2,000 calorie per day diet. Mocktails® products range from 18-22 grams of sugar per serving, less than half of the maximum recommended daily intake—completely reasonable for a celebratory beverage. Plus, because they don’t contain alcohol, you are likely to consume less volume than if you opted for an alcoholic beverage.

On the other hand, my favorite flavor of soda contains 76 grams of sugar per serving size (one bottle). Pre-made mixers, which have become very popular of late and are often marketed as “healthy,” can weigh in at a whopping 49 grams! My favorite alcohol-free juice-based cocktail to order at a bar or restaurant contains 50 grams of sugar. Yes, largely this sugar is “natural,” as it is extracted from fruit, but most commercial juices eliminate the wholesome parts of the fruit in its original package, such as skin and pulp, which are important sources of fiber and nutrients. One serving

of orange juice takes eight medium oranges to produce, but we aren’t meant to regularly consume them that way. We would not eat eight oranges in one sitting, yet we seem to view juice differently.

Needless to say, aside from lacking alcohol, those options aren’t too promising from a health and nutrition perspective.

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