PASTEURISED FRUIT JUICE
The biggest problem with fruit juice is that a glass or two tends to contain way more fruit than you'd regularly consume. And all that fruit contains sugar that can amount to a meal's worth of calories pretty quickly. But you probably don't — and definitely shouldn't — chug a glass of OJ and call that a meal. Juice is devoid of the filling fiber found in fruit, protein, and fat — so it's terribly unbalanced.
The difference between conventional milk and organic is that the former may contain estrogen, as it comes from cows treated with hormones. Experts worry that these consuming extra sex hormones can make you more susceptible to certain cancers. Some research links milk consumption to higher rates of breast, ovarian, and uterine cancer — it's why registered dietitian Isabel Smith recommends organic dairy products (particularly for big milk drinkers).
SWEETENED NON-DAIRY MILKS
Yes, dairy-free milks are a godsend for lactose-intolerant folks who want their cereal/coffee/cookies with milk. But many flavoured brands are loaded with empty calories, and some contain carrageenan, a thickening agent derived from seaweed that can irritate your digestive system. Smith suggests going for unsweetened plain or vanilla-flavored non-dairy milk that's organic or free of GMOs.
ZERO-CALORIE, ARTIFICIALLY-SWEETENED BEVERAGES
If a tasty product seems too good to be true, it probably is: Sweet-tasting sports drinks, iced teas, and sodas that are devoid of calories often contain chemicals, artificial colourings, and artificial sweeteners that may seem to satisfy your sweet tooth, but don't actually fill you up. If this kind of stuff is present (just check the ingredient label), Smith says it can mess with the balance of bacteria in your gut — which plays a big role in weight regulation, according to recent research. To play it safe, drink water and boost the flavour with a squeeze of lemon or some frozen berries.
Straight-up soda is flavoured with sugars that contribute calories without nutrients. Dark sodas may also contain phosphoric acid, which reduces the amount of calcium your body absorbs, ultimately weakening your bones and increasing your risk of injuries now, and osteoporosis later on. If you're going to drink soda no matter what you read, go for the one that contains the lowest sugar you can find, Smith suggests.