The landscape of the “healthy” beverage aisle has changed dramatically over the years, from “better-for-you” smoothies to fancy organic energy drinks. Once you get past the lofty claims and colorful packaging, you’ll likely discover that many of these “healthier” drinks aren’t all that healthy. Sugar-sweetened beverages are, in fact, the most common source of added sugar in the American diet. You might be surprised to learn that so-called “better-for-you” beverages contain hidden added sugars, as well as artificial sweeteners and colors.
While a sugary drink now and then isn’t bad, excessive consumption, especially on a regular basis, can quickly build up and have a negative influence on your health. The nutrition experts at the Good Housekeeping Institute Nutrition Lab advise which drinks to avoid and how to pick the healthiest alternative at the supermarket: Fruit is a nutrient-dense food that is high in antioxidants and fiber. Natural sugars are found in fruit, but because of what’s within, they’re accompanied by a slew of beneficial elements like vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Fruit juice, on the other hand, removes all of the beneficial fiber and replaces it with sugar and calories (it takes three oranges to make just one cup of orange).