Summer might be a long way’s away for Canada, but in Australia where it’s currently between 26 and 30 degrees Celsius, cooling down is exactly what’s needed. While some people might choose to stay in an air-conditioned room or building, others opt for cold, frozen drinks, such as slushies, to help keep them from feeling overheated. However, according to recent news articles, those frozen drinks might actually contain more sugar than what was initially thought.
In light of this finding, LiveLighter and Rethink Sugary Drink have launched their ‘Don’t Get Sucked In’ campaign in effort to shine a spotlight on these and other sugary beverages.
Along with slushies, soft drinks (depending on the size of the can/bottle) can contain anywhere from 10 to 20 teaspoons of sugar, while energy and sports drinks range anywhere from 8 to 16 teaspoons. This means that you’re consuming up to an entire week’s worth of sugar in just one day, which is definitely not good for your health.
Sugar has no nutritional value and tends to store itself as fat and is high in calories, therefore over consumption of sugar can lead to obesity, and obesity can lead to the development of other health problems such as type II diabetes, heart disease, and even dental-related issues (such as cavities.) Because of these reasons, family physicians like Dr. Ali Ghahary urge patients to avoid consuming sugar.
Unfortunately, due to the fact that sugary drinks are easily and widely accessible – for example, in schools, fast food restaurants, grocery stores and sporting/concert arenas) – actually being able to say “no” and avoid those temptations can sometimes be difficult. However, while we cannot control every single environment we find ourselves in, we can certainly control what we choose to put in our bodies as well as what’s at home. For some, cutting out sugar can be as difficult as quitting smoking, especially if sugar consumption has been a part of your diet for quite some time. If this is the case, Dr. Ali Ghahary recommends finding distractions. Ask yourself what you can do when you start craving sugar. A distraction could be something as simple as calling a friend, reading a book, listening to music, or even going for a walk – and, as Dr. Ghahary has mentioned in his articles many times before, exercise has many health benefits.
There are also many alternatives to sugar – and much healthier ones, at that! If you’re craving a sugary drink, Dr. Ali Ghahary says patients should always opt for water instead. There are many health benefits when it comes to drinking h20, and it can be flavoured with a few squeezes of fresh lemon and lime, or other fruits such as blueberries, blackberries and strawberries. These fruits are also just as good to eat on their own.