For any good, diet-abiding citizen, a simple trip to the supermarket or convenience store can easily feel like a tap dance across a minefield of temptations - having to narrowly skirt well-concealed calorie-bombs at nearly every turn.
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Areas like the frozen foods aisle and the chips and cookies shelves are obvious danger zones for the health-conscious shopper, but be careful not to overlook the potential diet pitfalls sitting in those beverage-stocked cold cases. From juices and iced teas to flavored milks and protein shakes, drinks can often be like the evil ninja warriors of dieting.
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Just because drinking tea can be good for your health doesn't mean that bottle of calorie- and sugar-packed iced tea is. And don't think that you're doing yourself too much of a favor by picking up that "low-fat" chocolate milk - check out the nutrition facts on the back and find that it has nearly as many calories and not that many less grams of fat as the full-fat version.
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So, as we approach that time of the year to make diet-improving resolutions, you might want to consider keeping these drinks out of your shopping cart.
Iced Tea: Lipton Brisk Lemon Iced Tea
Yes, of course, drinking tea can offer a lot of health benefits. That said, sneaky sugar can, again, ruin any drink with even the best health intentions. Case in point: A 2-liter bottle of Lipton Brisk Lemon Iced Tea contains a total of about 670 calories and 184 grams of sugar. That's roughly equal to the amount of sugar in two containers of Häagen-Dazs Zesty Lemon sorbet.
Lemonade: Arizona Lemonade
Lemonade may be a favorite nostalgic drink, but we shouldn't delude ourselves into thinking that this is a healthy alternative to soda or juice. The basic ingredients are simple enough: lemon juice, water, and sweetener. But the amount of "sweetener" used in commercially made lemonade can be off the charts. A 23.5-ounce can of Arizona lemonade will cost you about 330 calories and 78 grams of sugar. That's nearly as much sugar as in two 12-ounce cans of Cherry Coke.
Soda: Grape Fanta
Given all of the flak soda gets for being detrimental to one's health, it's funny to think that soft drinks were originally conceived to treat a variety of ailments. While many of us still drink ginger ale for an upset stomach, this fizzy libation is far from a healthy choice. Most colas - from Pepsi to Coke - have about 150 calories per 12-ounce can, but some of the biggest culprits are the flavored sodas, particularly the grape and orange varieties. A 12-ounce can of Sunkist, for example, contains 190 calories and 52 grams of sugar, and a 20-ounce bottle of grape Fanta has 300 calories and a staggering 82.5 grams of sugar.
Juice: Welch's Concord Grape Juice Cocktail Drink
Your first hint that this might not be the smartest choice in the juice aisle? It's labeled as "fruit juice cocktail" that's made from concentrate. There are 1,200 calories and nearly 300 grams of sugar in one 64-ounce bottle. That's the sugar equivalent of about six packets of Skittles.
Energy Drink: Rockstar Juiced
We've all been there before - up studying or working late and in desperate need of a quick boost of energy. But, in addition to giving you a jolt of energy, these drinks are also dumping you with a lot of unwanted sugar and calories. As if a 16-ounce can of Original Rockstar wasn't bad enough, with its 280 calories and 62 grams of sugar, a same size can of their Juiced variety has just as many calories and a total of 70 grams of sugar.
Click here for 5 more drinks to avoid at the supermarket
Lauren Gordon, The Daily Meal
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