All FULLfood beverages, excluding water, should be consumed in moderation. Drink water as frequently as desired.

Food for thought...

  1. There’s often emphasis on watching what you eat, but what about watching what you drink? Do you take your liquid consumption into account?
  2. Do you consider most store-bought fruit juices to be healthy? Have you ever checked the ingredients in fruit juice? Many consist mostly of added sugars and water. So, where’s the fruit?!
  3. Have you ever checked out the amount of sugar in milk?
  4. Many people choose diet sodas over regular sodas. Could it be a myth that they are “healthier?” They may not have added sugars, but have you considered negative effects of artificial sweeteners? Could they potentially be more harmful and less healthy?
  5. Back to sugars! Do you take into account the amount of sugar in ALL sweetened beverages (fruit juice included)? Not only do they typically have limited to no nutritional value, when it comes to sugars, a lot of them could be comparable to a dessert. So ask yourself, how often are you drinking desserts?
  6. Certain types of alcohol and their mixers contains lots of sugar, do you take this into account when choosing a drink?
  7. Have you considered flavoring your water with fruit or cucumbers?

The “No-No’s”: What should you steer clear of when it comes to beverages?

  • Drinks with added sugars, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) or sugar substitutes
  • Soda
  • Energy drinks and sports drinks
  • Artificially flavored drinks, including coffee
  • Fruit juice from concentrate with added sugars
  • Prepackaged drink mixes, packets and liquid water enhancers

So, what’s okay to drink when it comes to beverages? 


  • Water
  • Homemade fruit-infused water

In moderation

  • 100% natural unsweetened herbal teas (loose leaf is best)
  • Coffee sweetened with limited amounts of natural sugars, such as honey or maple syrup
  • 100% all natural vegetable juice with nothing added
  • Homemade smoothies consisting of raw fruit and vegetables

In limited amounts (largely due to sugar content)

  • Alcohol
  • Hot water with a teaspoon of local honey
  • 100% pure coconut water
  • 100% all natural fruit juice, fresh squeezed or cold-pressed, with no additives

Some things to look for when checking beverage labels and ingredients

  • Fruit juice: 100% pure squeezed or cold-pressed, not from concentrate
  • No sugars added
  • No added ingredients 

Where to find your beverages

Alcohol and mixers

The amount of carbs and sugars found in alcohol and cocktail mixers can add up quickly.

  • When it comes to wine, choose one on the lower side of the sugar spectrum.
  • Choose your mixers carefully! Rather than mixing your cocktail with a sugary fruit juice, use club soda or seltzer water and squeeze an orange slice for some added sweetness.
  • There's a HUGE difference in the amount of sugar in tonic water versus club soda and seltzer water.
    • 32 grams of sugar in one 12 ounce can of tonic water (almost as much as a regular can of soda)
    • 0 grams of sugar in club soda and seltzer water

FULLfood facts and fun

  • Fruit juice labels often trick you by labeling themselves as being “organic,” “50% less sugar,” “sweetened with fruit” and “no sugar added.” We actually went to the store and found a fruit juice product that stated all of these things. The product went as far as stating “all good stuff, no bad stuff.” After taking a closer look, it specified in much smaller print that it only contained “31% juice.” How’s that for tricky marketing?
  • How much sugar is in sweetened coffee drinks, such as ONE Starbucks chilled frappuccino?
    • 46 grams of sugar... that's an entire days worth of added + natural sugars (and well exceeded your daily intake of added sugar)

Substitutions that are considered FULLfoods

  • You can infuse your water with different fruits and vegetables, such as strawberries or cucumbers, for added flavor. Avoid sipping water infused with acidic foods over an extended period of time throughout the day, such as lemons and limes, due to the potential negative effects it may have on the enamel of your teeth.
  • If you have children and want to give them an occasional glass of chocolate milk as a treat, make your own by combining milk, cacao powder and a little honey.

Tips and preparation

  • The LESS ingredients, the better
  • 100% all natural fruit juice that is cold-pressed and not from concentrate is full strength rather than diluted. Because of this, you will probably need to dilute it with water before drinking it.
    • We often drink 100% all natural cold-pressed cranberry juice, which we dilute with water. (If you get frequent UTI's, this is a great preventative drink.) We drink it cold or occasionally heat it with ½ teaspoon of honey rather than drinking hot tea.

Tips when eating out

  • Always order water, even if you decide to order something else with it. Make sure throughout the meal to drink the entire glass of water. This not only helps fill you up, it also prevents you from drinking an excessive amount of something else.
  • When you are at a coffee shop, steer clear of flavored coffee drinks, iced drinks or smoothies. Many of these drinks contain more calories and sugars than a candy bar. Instead, choose something with less calories and sugars, such as an iced coffee with skim milk or an unsweetened tea with some honey.
  • Sugar-free drinks containing artificial sweeteners are a big “NO-NO!”
  • When mixing drinks, choose club soda or water as your mixer. Squeeze an orange slice, lemon or lime into your drinks for some added flavor.

Action Steps

  1. Take inventory of your pantry and fridge; eliminate any “no-no” beverages.
  2. Take some time this week while grocery shopping to look at how many sweetened beverages use HFCS as an ingredient.
  3. Take some time this week while grocery shopping to look at how much sugar is in the beverages you typically gravitate toward. 
  4. Watch your liquid calories. Evaluate what you typically drink throughout the week and adjust accordingly.
  5. Include drinking a glass of water with each meal.