I was at a coffee shop the other day while having some quality talk time with a friend. On any other day, I probably would have indulged myself with a delicious vanilla latte but this day was different. It was a fast day. So, I opted for a cup of chai tea instead. I told the barista specifically that I did not want anything added to the drink, not even milk. To my surprise, the chai tea had a sweetness to it. I’m not the type of person to complain and I didn’t want to interrupt my chat with my friend so I just proceeded to drink my tea knowing that it’s probably just a natural sweetness to the tea.
Later on, it was still bugging me that my tea was sweet so I called the coffee shop to ask if there was any added sugar to my drink. When the barista looked at the box where the chai tea came from, she said it had cane juice and honey. It had 90 calories per tea bag! I found it disappointing that when I chose not to have any calories or sweets added to my drinks, I still ended up drinking 90 calories of it. To add insult to injury, I did on a fast day!
Now, I do not want you to think that I’m this person who watches her calories strictly and have a very restricted diet. If you’ve read my other blog posts, you’ll know that I am quite a foodie and fasting has given me a great way to enjoy food while also maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle. So, I probaby would not have cared if this incident happened on any other day other than my fast day. But, it left me to think about just how many calories everyone else gets from their drinks. I usually drink water and the occasional latte. I rarely if ever drink sodas so this is not a big issue for me. But, for those people who has a habit of drinking sodas, even diet sodas, they might want to start thinking about it more often.
Hidden Calories in Drinks
Many people are awared of calories in foods. In fact, a new law from Obama’s health care plan mandates restaurants with more than one location to have nutrition facts available to their customers. But, a lot of people forget to count calories in their drinks. This may seem like a simple thing from the surface but with our waist lines expanding more than ever and our health risks increasing each year, we ought to start worrying about these hidden calories. Even companies who make diet sodas have a way of going around the law to say “zero calories” on ther labels.
Here is what I mean: If a serving of a food item contains less than 1 gram of a particular nutrient, it does not have to be counted on the label. In reality, if a serving of a drink has .9 grams of sugar, it is still considered “zero calories.” That is totally fine if you’re like me and you do not use artificial sweeteners all the time. But, if you’re a big time diet soda drinker and drinks them 10 times a day, those supposedly “zero calories” definitely add up. Additionally, most drinks have more than 1 serving. So, if you had the whole bottle, you’re definitely taking in more sugar than you think.
I’m not saying to abandon the whole idea of having zero calorie drinks at all. I like the fact that I can have my cake and eat it too, sometimes. Everything is fine in moderation right? But, drinking my calories does not give me that much pleasure so I would not do it too often. I guess this article talks more to those people who have the habit of drinking their calories or do not think about them. Just remember, everything is good in moderation with moderation being defined as maybe one sugary drink once or twice a month or a single serving of a zero calorie drink once a day. Really, your body will thank you later. We can increase the quality of our lives by simply eating less. I see that as the easiest thing we can do right now to lengthen our life spans. Why not do it now?