Replacing high-sugar soft drinks with healthier beverages is an easy dietary change that can significantly improve your health. Here are several options that can help you avoid the sugar and empty calories in sodas:
- Seltzers. Carbonated waters can be unflavored or lightly flavored with fruit essences, such as citrus or raspberry. Check nutrition labels for artificial flavors, added sugars, and artificial sweeteners.
- Home carbonation. Purchase a home carbonator machine to carbonate tap water. Add flavor by muddling fresh fruit or adding a few drops of fruit essence. This is a great way to save money and reduce packaging waste.
- Spritzers. Mix one-half carbonated water with one-half fruit juice. Experiment with several juice combinations until you find a satisfying recipe. Choose 100% fruit juices with no added sugars.
- Juice with shaved ice. Create shaved ice using a snow cone maker, ice shaver, or food processor. Again, choose 100% fruit juices without added sugars.
- Tea. Experiment with many varieties, such as caffeine-free herbal, green, oolong, and black teas. Enhance the flavor with a twist of lemon or mint leaves.
While many of these options offer the carbonated fizz of soft drinks, none contain the added sugars. If this is too big of a change for you, try adding a bit of simple syrup. While the added sugar isn't ideal, it's nowhere near the nine teaspoons of sugar in a typical 12-ounce soda.
Add a fruit garnish and serve in an elegant glass.