02/21/2012 01:48 EST | Updated 04/22/2012 05:12 EDT

"Liquid Candy" -- Calories Add Up in Beverages


When we think about extra calories and fat, we never believe that "liquid food" -- the beverages we consume -- can be a hidden culprit in the battle of the bulge, as well as a precursor to chronic diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart and stroke disease and certain cancers. I'm talking about anything you drink except for good old H2O! Juices, including pure ones and those sweetened chemically or with added sugar; coffee beverages with cream, higher fat milk, sugar, sweet syrups and whipped cream; soft drinks with loads of sugar or sweeteners; smoothies; sports drinks; energy drinks or vitamin waters and any form of alcohol. That's a lot of food, or shall I say beverages, to keep control of. Most days we all consume beverages of some sort.

Marlith / Wikimedia Commons

Now I'm not saying to stay "dry" all your life, but definitely try to be more particular and treat your body better.

In the morning there's nothing wrong with a coffee, cappuccino or café latte. But ordering it with cream, extra sugar, whipped cream, chocolate or sweet syrups will greatly increase the calories, fat and sugar. You're no longer just having a coffee, you're having a dessert for breakfast. For example the White Mocha at Second Cup comes in at 460 calories, 24 grams of fat and 43 grams of sugar, which equals over 10 tsp of sugar! That's one-third of your daily calories and fat. If you like your coffee beverages. then enjoy them, but order with lower fat milk and "sans" whipped cream! You've just cut out 100 calories right there.


Juices, even if pure without added sugar, also pack on the calories. A glass of orange, apple or grape juice is over 100 calories. Have a couple of those daily and by the end of a year you could have just added an extra 21 pounds to your body!

Or think of how easy it would be to lose 21 pounds if you eliminated the juices! If weight is not the issue, you're better off eating your food rather than drinking. An apple, orange or bunch of grapes not only fills you longer than the juice but contains more nutrients.

How about those nutritious smoothies made from fruit, juice or frozen yogurt? At Orange Julius, the Cool Mocha Julius consists of a coffee concentrate, chocolate drink base, non-fat dried milk powder and smoothie booster ice sweetener, whatever that is! Not so cool coming in at 880 calories, 18 grams of fat and 131 grams of sugar, which equals 33 tsp of sugar! You're almost done for the day! You'd be better off with the premium fruit smoothies consisting of a blend of real fruits and some low-fat frozen yogurt.

Next time you're going to indulge in some liquid calories. Keep this in mind.

  1. Beverages don't fill you the same as food.
  2. Avoid those drinks containing high-fructose corn syrup which increases obesity more than sugar. You'll find them in many soft drinks, fruit juice cocktails and sports drinks.
  3. Avoid sugar sweeteners, which are now being linked to increased obesity. They can increase your desire for more sugar-based foods.