What the heck is an empty calorie?

I was a coca cola junkie. I drank maybe, 2 or 3 cans of it every single day and ignored the warning signs. I also loved Sprite.

I would drink tons of this stuff every single day and never bothered to look at the nutrional information and then after I found out that diabetes runs in my family, I decided to check the sugar content of everything I consumed. Soda, in general, is a freaking wakeup call! An average can of non-diet soda has something in the range of 20 to 30 grams of sugar and lots of calories.

Now, the latest buzzword is “empty calories”. I really had no idea what an empty calorie is. After all, it must have had something in it. So, why would it be empty?

I found out that the empty calories simply are calories that can make you fat but provide very little nutrition. Soda is top fo the list! Even potato chips, the most popular junk food out there, has some potassium in it from its potato content, but soda, forget about it.

Now, you may love your soda and not care, but consider all the sugar you are getting and in some strange way, it makes it anything BUT an empty calorie. That means diabetics should drink water or even the beverage which I switched to, seltzer, which I call smart soda, because it is a smarter choice than soda.

Drink water, juice (watch the sugar content), and seltzer.

Avoid deep-fried foods. Instead of deep-frying, use other methods of cooking. For instance, have a baked potato with skin instead of fries, or a piece of baked skinless chicken breast instead of fried chicken.

Avoid sweetened drinks and canned drinks.

Try whole grains instead of refined grains. Whole grains are packed with beneficial fiber and antioxidants. For instance, have a slice of whole-wheat bread instead of white bread. Have a bowl of whole-grain breakfast cereals or unsweetened oatmeal instead of corn flakes.

Snack on fruits! Instead of prowling for a box of crackers in the mid afternoon, snack on fruits. Better yet, dip them in low-fat yogurt to get additional calcium and protein.

Eat Healthy and Enjoy!