Approximately half of the American population consumes a sugary beverage every day, as revealed by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.
“In 2011-2014, 6 in 10 youth (63%) and 5 in 10 adults (49%) drank a sugar-sweetened beverage on a given day.”
For the most part, the calories from these beverages are empty calories meaning that they pack a lot of calories for very little nutritional value. The average calories consumed through sugar beverages across all age groups is between 94 and 175; in terms of calories, this is equivalent to one or two glasses of skim milk. However, skim milk is quite nutrient-dense as it is a great source of calcium and protein as well as vitamin D and vitamin A if it is a fortified milk product.
Replacing sugary drinks such as sodas with skim milk would be a very beneficial dietary modification most notably for bone health. Such a substitution would benefit bone health on two accounts. For one, calcium and vitamin D play big roles in the formation of healthy, strong bones. Secondly, the high level of phosphates in soft drinks combined with the low level of calcium actually acts to pull calcium from the bones leading to weaker bone mineralization. To promote bone health, accompany your meals with a glass of skim milk instead of a soft drink!
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