above, Latte Macchiato, 518 calories in 16 ounces

The beverages you’ve become accustomed to drinking daily may be loaded with empty calories.

1.  Coffee drinks with full-fat dairy, artificial flavorings, and extras such as chocolate sprinkles.  Many of these pack as many calories (and fat) as a meal.  A better option is plain coffee with soymilk, or even better, antioxidant-rich green tea.

2.  Frothy summer cocktails.  Whether it’s a margarita or pina colada, the alcohol and sugar pack a double dose of calories.  A better choice would be a glass of red wine (60-100 calories) or light beer (about 100 calories).

3.  Non-juice “juice drinks.”  Read the label and make sure your buying something made of 100% juice, not just “made with” real juice.  Check for added sweeteners and calories.  Many such products are the equivalent of sugar water.

4.  Soda.  Neither diet nor regular has any nutritional benefit.  If you’re addicted to soda, eliminate it as a treat and stop reaching for it with your meal.

My Take on Dr Weil’s take:  I’d add a 5th beverage:  energy drinks, which have 5-8 teaspoons of sugar/8 ounces and exceed the recommended sugar intake for an entire day.  And I feel queasy just thinking about Kool-Aid or “lemonade” made from a sugary powder.

Coming up: 4 reasonable beverage choices to enjoy

For more information about the benefits of green tea, go to http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/health-benefits-of-green-tea

For answers to your wellness questions, go to  http://www.drweil.com/



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