Are you in favor of banning soft drinks and sugary drinks from schools and other public places? Before you support a ban, keep in mind that your kids (and even you) will crave colas and juice unless you replace them with healthier options that taste good. Dan Negroni, chief executive officer and president of Fresh Healthy Vending Cafe, shares five low- and no-sugar drink alternatives that he offers the push of a button away.
Sugar overload: Americans drink a lot of soda
According to journal Circulation, between 1970 and 2000, the per-person daily consumption of caloric soft drinks rose 70 percent, from an average of 7.8 ounces per day, to 13.2 ounces per day. They report that the mean sugar intake for children ages 14 to 18 years old is around 22.2 teaspoons per day, which comes out to around 355 calories.
The recommendation for adults, when it comes to daily sugar intake, are for women to consume no more than 100 calories from sugar, and men to consume no more than 150 calories from sugar per day.
For children, it is recommended that those under 8 years old have no more than 3 teaspoons per day, and older children have no more than 5 to 8 teaspoons per day.
Since research shows that school soda bans don’t actually curb consumption, it’s important for you as a parent to find healthier drinks that kids (and you) enjoy drinking.
Healthier drink options
“There is a whole world of healthier beverages beyond sugary sodas,” says Negroni. “We have helped make these healthier drinks convenient, so people can grab them on the go. The large sugary sodas may be banned, but flavored and guilt-free options are more bountiful than ever before!”
Fresh Healthy Vending’s mission focuses on providing people with healthier food and beverage options. In its vending machines, consumers will find a variety of healthier drinks that are either low in sugar or naturally sugar-free. Here are our faves.
Coconut water and coconut juice – Coconut juice contains 12 grams of sugar and 95 calories, while coconut water has zero calories and zero grams of sugar. Flavors include mango, passion fruit, pineapple, and pink guava.
Hint Premium Essence Water – For those who want to hydrate but like a little flavor, these waters have zero calories and zero sugar, and come in many refreshing flavors.
Honest Tea – Drinking black tea offers antioxidants and no calories or sugar. Those who want to opt for lemon or peach tea will find it has just 8 grams of sugar.
Mayesa – For the person who wants something unique, there is Mayesa, an all-natural chocolate drink that comes in original and mint flavors. It’s made from organic cacao, the purest form of chocolate, along with hemp protein, rice, and spices. Also, dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free, kosher and vegan. It has 13 grams of sugar.
“People have begun to see the problem with some of the beverage choices that are readily available,” acknowledges Negroni. “We identified that problem years ago, and it is our mission to make a change by offering a lot of healthier choices in our vending machines.” (Check out other healthy offerings from Fresh Healthy Vending.)
Health note: For many people reading beverage labels, figuring out the sugar content can be a bit confusing. Sugar is listed on the nutrition label in grams. To determine how many teaspoons it equals, divide the grams by four. One teaspoon of sugar equals four grams. For example, if you are looking at a soda that contains 40 grams of sugar, simply divide by four, and you will quickly see that it contains 10 teaspoons of sugar. Each teaspoon of sugar has around 16 calories, so a single can of that soda has around 160 calories of sugar.