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Kaylor: Think your drink during national nutrition month

By Staff | Mar 21, 2014

Have you checked the Nutrition Facts label on your favorite beverages? Calories from beverages can add up quickly. Unlike food, beverages usually don’t make people feel “full.”

Swapping a can of sweetened soda pop with water every day can trim about 150 calories from your daily diet. That simple swap could add up to a 15-pound weight loss during the course of a year.



Many types of sweeteners are used in beverages, and most add calories without vitamins or minerals. Sugar-free food additives, such as aspartame, are used in diet soda. While they have zero or few calories, they also contribute no nutrition. Read the “Ingredient Statement” on the label to see what you are consuming. Added sweeteners have many different names, including:

High-fructose corn syrup


Fruit juice concentrate




Corn syrup




Choose water or low-calorie beverages when you are thirsty. Save money by bringing a refillable water bottle. Be sure to wash it thoroughly before and after use.

Get your calcium. Have 3 cups of fat-free milk or other calcium-rich beverages or foods, including yogurt. Make a fruit smoothie by blending yogurt and frozen strawberries.

Choose 100 percent fruit or vegetable juice instead of “fruit-flavored” beverages. Better yet, have whole fruit, which is more than 90 percent water.

When you want a sweetened beverage, including smoothies, coffee drinks and soda pop, order the smallest size. Have coffee drinks made with fat-free milk, and skip the whipped topping.

Reference: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/healthy_eating/drinks.html


Let’s say you drank a 20-ounce bottle of a nondiet cola beverage. How many calories did you consume?

1. Check out the Nutrition Facts label, which lists servings per container and the amount of calories and other nutrients per serving. Servings per container: 2.5 Calories per serving: 100

2. Multiply the number of servings by the number of calories per serving (100 x 2.5).

3. You had 250 calories, all from added sweeteners.


1 medium yellow onion, chopped

1 carrot, chopped or shredded

1 green pepper, chopped

1 pound ground turkey

1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce, low-sodium

1 (15-ounce) can crushed tomatoes

1 (8-ounce) can mushroom stems and pieces, drained

c. barbecue sauce

6 whole-wheat buns

Rinse and prepare vegetables as indicated. Saute onions, carrots, green pepper and turkey in a pan over medium-high heat for five minutes. Add tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, mushrooms and barbecue sauce. Bring to a boil. Cover pan, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover pan and cook for about three minutes or until thickened. Serve on toasted or untoasted whole-wheat buns. Refrigerate leftovers within two hours.

Makes six servings. Each serving has 280 calories, 9 grams (g) fat, 36 g carbohydrate, 16 g protein, 6 g fiber and 580 milligrams sodium. A serving also provides 70 percent of the daily recommendation for vitamin A and 60 percent of the daily recommendation for vitamin

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