A healthier choice: Choosing no sugar canned/packet drinks

Did you know that the sugar availability for consumption in Singapore have increased by 10 per cent from 2009 to 2012, indicating an increase in the overall consumption of it among Singaporeans? That's a whole lot more of sugar in just 3 years!

In this post I’ll like to offer you one simple tip to eliminate about 4 teaspoons of sugar from your daily intake, out of the recommended 10.

Simply choose a less or no sugared drink that usually accompanies your meal when you eat out! 

To be honest, I struggled quite a fair bit to think about a list of canned/packet drinks or those available outside with no sugar, only because when it comes to absolutely zero (or close to zero) sugar, only two comes to mind - the “traditional” cloudy Green Tea, and Oolong Tea. However, after some research, I found out that there are also other drinks you can get which contain zero or close to zero sugar, such as sugar-free soy milk at a soy milk kiosk, bubble tea with 0% sugar level and not forgetting the classic Oldenlandia Water, which in Chinese translates to "snake grass water" and supposedly helps to 'cool' you down if you are feeling too 'heaty' (with symptoms like sore throat, ulcers).

Why am I trying to come up with a list of canned/packet drinks with no sugar? Well, that's simply because I want to show you guys what are the healthier choices. I also hope to stress that they are ideal option for people who are looking to reduce their calorie intake, yet do not want to compromise on taste.

You would think that without sugar these drinks taste bad. Contrary to popular opinion though, all you have to do is to give it a try to know how refreshing it can be, and how much more real taste comes through (instead of just sugar). My favourite would have to be Oolong Tea, from the can. Add it to some ice, and it is light, fragrant and doesn't give you added sugar just for the sake of it!

I must confess, I used to be a huge soda guzzler (very bad for me).  I liked them in their original form, no lite or zeros or diet, but problem is, I didn’t realize how much sugar there is in one can, and what is my daily-recommended daily intake. However, when I started working on this I realized that fizzy canned sodas should be the first to go. It was difficult at first since it was such a habit. I started cutting down my consumption from 5 cans a week to 2 cans a week, and swapped out the 3 with non-sugar versions. After a while I realized that my food tastes better without a fizzy sugary drink, and the habit stuck.

I strongly encourage all of you to try it for a week.  Ask for no sugar packaged/canned drink when you dine outdoors or even have it at home (Chinese New Year packet drinks anyone?) The results will surprise you.

This post is brought to you by HPB's Life is Sweeter with Less Sugar Promotion, where you can get a scratch and win card for every less sugar or no sugar drink you order from participating coffeeshops, cafes, food courts and hawker stalls and kiosks.

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