Avoid Weight Gain: Watch What You Drink
Here's how to keep from drowning in liquid calories.
I'm certainly not the only one concerned about the issue of liquid calories.
A national Beverage Guidance Panel made up of six leading nutrition experts came together
recently to decide on beverage guidelines for the U.S.
The panel made a list of recommendations, but the item that impressed me
most was their ranking of beverages to fulfill our daily liquid needs. Water
was ranked as the preferred beverage (big surprise); followed by tea and
coffee; and low-fat (1% or 1.5%) and skim milk and soy beverages. Ranked after
that were artificially sweetened beverages, then fruit juices and alcoholic beverages (which have
calories but some nutritional benefits), then whole milk, and then
5 Points About Liquid Calories
Here are five points to consider about liquid calories:
1. Liquid calories may not be a wise investment of your
Liquid calories don't seem to register in the stomach like food calories do,
so they don't satisfy hunger as well. The next time you drink a high-calorie
beverage, check in with your stomach an hour later. How do you feel? Are you
A group of researchers from Pennington Biomedical Research Center at
Louisiana State University and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
explain in a recent journal article that fructose (the chief component in
high-fructose corn syrup) is different from glucose in that it does NOT
stimulate insulin secretion or enhance leptin production. And higher levels of
insulin and leptin in the blood stream help regulate body weight by serving as
signals that food has been eaten.
2. Watch the high-fructose corn syrup.
Some experts say that part of the rise in obesity in the United States is
due to our rising consumption of high-fructose corn syrup, which is used in
many soft drinks, fruit juices, and sports drinks.
One study found that rats fed a high-fructose diet were more likely to
develop features of metabolic syndrome, says
researcher Richard J. Johnson, MD, of the University of Florida College of
Medicine. Metabolic syndrome is a group of symptoms linked to a high risk of
diabetes and heart disease.