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New Ulm Medical Center

Live Healthier One SWAP at a Time!

Did you know that a medium specialty coffee drink can have 300 or more calories? Or that a 20-ounce soda has 250 calories? Calories from beverages add up — and most of the time we aren’t even aware of how many calories sneak into our day here and there through our drink choices.

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Watch for signs like these at local convenience stores to help you stay on track with healthier beverage choices.

On average, people drink more than 400 calories a day that’s about 20 percent of our total daily calorie average. Unfortunately, most of these calories come from sugar in the form of sugar-sweetened sodas and fruit drinks that provide little or no nutritional value. Every calorie counts, and unfortunately, if we eat and drink more than we burn off through daily activities, we gain weight.

The good news is we can lose weight and improve our health just by making small changes, or SWAPS, in what we drink. Every small SWAP such as changing your drink size or switching to a calorie-free beverage can make a difference!

For example, try SWAP-ing a 20-ounce regular soda with unsweetened water and you’ll save up to 240 calories and 16 teaspoons of sugar. Do this once a day and you could drop 24 pounds in a year without making any other changes in what you eat or drink. Can’t live without your daily soda? SWAP a 20-ounce soda with a 12-ounce soda and save 100 calories!

Hearts Beat Back: The Heart of New Ulm Project is trying to make it easier for you to make simple SWAPs by working with local convenience stores. When you’re in Casey’s, Holiday and Kwik Trip convenience stores in New Ulm, check out the new Beverage SWAP campaign. Look for clings on the beverage coolers and counter signs throughout the stores for suggestions on how you can make the SWAP and make better beverage selections.

When you’re not in a convenience store, you can continue to SWAP. Try the following:

  • Choose water instead of regular soda or sports drinks.
  • Downsize your beverage portion size from 20 ounces to 12 ounces.
  • Skip the coffee cream and sugar.
  • Switch from whole milk to 1% or skim.

Every SWAP counts! Make the choice to SWAP today to feel better and have more energy.

For more information, visit and click on “Convenience Store Program” under “FoodWorks.”