Refreshing low-calorie beverages

As we come into summer, chances are you will be invited to several barbecues and offered countless sugary sweet cocktails.

Hot weather in Australia seems to go hand in hand with good food and even better beverages! Yet while the thought of lounging around in the sun sipping on cosmopolitans may sound ideal, do you really want to consume your daily calorie intake through liquids?

Beverages are often a source of hidden sugars, what nutritionists refer to as 'empty calories'. This mean that they are high in energy yet low in nutritional value - not the best combination for people watching their weight.

The good news is, with a little bit of forward thinking and know-how, you can enjoy some delicious low-calorie drinks. Not everything that tastes good has to be bad for you!

Here are some yummy drink ideas that are low in sugar yet high in flavour.

Water with a twist

Never underestimate the tastiness of water. Although simple, this essential liquid is very refreshing, especially on a hot summer's day. Add some ice cubes and a few wedges of lime and you have the perfect drink!

Another way to spice water up is by opting for a sparkling variety over still, or adding some cordial or diluted fruit juice - just make sure to look out for low-calorie options. You can even add a few drops of SweetLeaf Stevia liquid.

If ordering alcohol, vodka, lime and sodas are usually a good choice, as are gin and tonics.

Ice tea

In winter a great low-calorie alternative to hot chocolates and coffee is herbal tea. There are so many delicious, fruity concoctions to choose from and most of these contain virtually zero calories!

The good news is, you don't have to give up herbal tea over the summer months. Just make it with ice cold water instead!

For something a little different, try Wisdom of the Ancients Stevia Tea. This all-natural, zero-calorie product is perfect for enhancing any tea, and also helps to support pancreatic health and soothe upset stomachs. In addition it may even be good for weight loss as it reduces food and sugar cravings.

Smoothies

Smoothies are not only a delicious, refreshing beverage, they even make a great meal replacement. In summer, many people tend to ditch the cereal in favour of a breakfast smoothie. Add bananas, skim milk and the fruit of your choice to a blender and voila, you have a healthy start to your day!

If you want to keep this low in natural fruit sugars, then try using leafy green vegetables such as kale or spinach.

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