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Three sugary drink alternatives

Cutting back on sugary drinks is a great way to reduce your sugar intake, but it’s not always easy.

You might find that when you’re at work and at home, a glass of water or a cup of tea hits the spot. At social events, however, when you’re about to say to the host for the sixth time, “I’ll just have water thanks,” it can be tougher to stick to your resolutions.

For those situations when plain water just won’t cut it, here are some drink ideas to try:

1. Jazz up your water

If you’re at a restaurant or a bar ask for plain or sparkling water with a slice of lemon or lime. Try to steer clear of lime syrup though as it’s usually high in sugar. At home try making one of LiveLighter’s refreshing drinks that aren’t packed with sugar. Cucumber or mint are perfect options for a hot afternoon.

2. Fruit juice

The Australian Dietary Guidelines say a small glass of fruit juice can count as a serving of fruit – occasionally. A ‘small glass’ is 125mL or half a cup. This is a small amount of juice but when mixed with sparkling water you’ve got yourself a refreshing drink. But just remember larger serves of fruit juice tend to have more sugar so it’s best to drink this is moderation.

3. A hot drink

There’s no reason not to ask for a cuppa when everyone else is drinking cool drinks. You may even find other people join you. A green or fruity tea makes a refreshing choice. Or you could use it as a chance to drink some milk to increase your calcium intake and have a milky coffee instead.

While we’re here … what about diet soft drinks?

Although diet drink options don’t contain the same level of kilojoules as sugary drinks you’re better off opting for the healthier options above. Sure, diet soft drinks may seem like a helpful halfway point for people trying to cut back but it’s important to be aware that diet drinks have been associated with overeating and weight gain. This could be because chemicals in artificial sweeteners stop you feeling full, or some people feel free to eat more because they have had a diet drink. On the teeth front they are still not good as they are acidic and can contribute to tooth decay.

For more tips to help you avoid sugary drinks, check out www.cancervic.org.au/healthyweight.