Beverages Boost Calorie Intake, But Many View Fluids As Calorie-free!
Beverages - and not just alcohol - are a significant if little recognized source of calories in North American diets. Yet many people seem to believe that if a calorie is ingested in fluid form, it's a freebie.
"They just don't put it in the same category - they're not eating, they're quenching a thirst," says Richard Mattes, a nutrition professor at Purdue University in Indiana who has done extensive research on beverage consumption.
Sure, most people know a thick milk shake, a sugary cola or a pint of beer isn't the best choice for someone on a diet. But how bad could iced tea be? And a bottle of juice is good for you, right? A refreshing Frappuccino? Heck, that's basically a coffee slush, isn't it?
Between the ingredients and the sizes in which they are sold, many drinks contain a surprising number of calories, enough to derail any weight loss or maintenance regime.
"I really believe that beverage consumption is contributing to the weight issue in a very substantive way," says Mattes, who notes there's been a huge jump in sales in virtually all beverages - with the exception of milk - in recent years.
Perhaps nowhere is the issue of calories in drinks more evident than in the offerings available at the ubiquitous premium coffee shops.
Last summer the staff of The Tufts University Health and Nutrition Letter did some research on the calorie and fat counts of popular summer drinks. The newsletter, from the esteemed Friedman School of Nutrition, Science and Policy at Boston-based Tufts, goes out to about 150,000 people a month.
The findings were eye-popping.
A Starbucks Venti (large) caramel macchiato with whole milk contains 310 calories and 12 grams of fat.
A large Tazoberry and Cream contains 560 calories and 15 grams of fat, nine grams of which are saturated fat (the kind we're supposed to avoid).
A large Strawberry Fruit Coolatta at Dunkin' Donuts had no fat, but 540 calories. Their large Vanilla Bean Coolatta contained 880 calories and 34 grams of fat - most of which were saturated fat.
"For a moderate-sized, not particularly active woman, that's half their (required) caloric intake for the day," Mattes says of the Coolatta.
Larry Lindner, executive editor of the Tufts newsletter, says most people don't realize these drinks are sending their calorie intake soaring.
"And I have a feeling if people knew just how many calories were in these things, if they familiarized themselves with the numbers, these things would be easier to forego on a regular basis," Lindner says.
Diana Steele, a dietitian in private practice in Vancouver, says she often sees teenage girls who skip lunch because they're trying to lose weight, then order coffee or chocolate drinks mounded with whip cream and laced with syrups in coffee shops.
"Suddenly they're consuming 600 calories in an after-school beverage. And they have no idea that the calories in that drink are so high - because it's not food," Steele says.
That's the thing. It is food. But the head doesn't recognize it as such. Neither does the stomach. That's because liquids don't satiate people the same way solids do.
"They don't make people feel full and as a consequence they add them to their diet rather than substituting for other caloric sources. So total caloric intake is going up," Mattes explains.
He has the evidence to prove it. A few years ago, Mattes did a study in which a group of students were given a 450-calorie soft drink every day for a month. After a month off, the students were given 450 calories worth of jelly beans daily for a month. The students logged their daily food intake and weight throughout the study.
When the students were getting the jelly beans, they instinctively cut back on other calories. They made no adjustment when they were getting the sugary drink and their weights went up, he says.
Another problem might be slotted under the heading "but it's good for me." That problem is juice.
Juice in and of itself is fine and is a healthy part of a balanced diet. But people rarely drink juice in the portions the experts recommend (Canada's food guide suggests a serving of juice is half a cup). Therein lies the difficulty.
"Juice is a healthful food. But 16 ounces," - that's two cups -"at one sitting is not. That's what it comes down to," Lindner says.
Steele urges her clients to get the benefits of juice by eating the whole fruits. Eating two oranges instead of drinking their juice is more filling and provides more fiber, which is something most Canadian diets lack, she explains.
Other popular beverages like non-diet soft drinks and power drinks are full of calories - calories someone may not need, Steele adds.
"I think that it's OK to have calories from a couple of glasses of milk in a day or a glass of pure fruit juice but when it comes to something like a SoBe beverage where you're getting 350 calories in a bottle and it's pure sugar with some flavoring, there's no nutritive value. That's like eating a bag of candy."
The same applies to alcohol. Steele calculated that a single drink a night for 10 months would lead to a six pound weight gain, if the drinker didn't cut back on other calories.
It's not all bad news, however. While beverages can be a diet problem, they can also be an easy diet solution.
Many people find it easier to drop a few pounds by altering the types of beverages they drink than by cutting back on foods, both Lindner and Steele say.
"So I think just a little education could help people either stay away from these things or really use them as an occasional treat."
The idea isn't to cut fluid intake, but to switch to low- or no-calorie beverages, Mattes says.
"The message should not be don't drink. Hydration is important. You either have to switch to lower calorie beverages or you have to consciously control it."
Author: Susan Rutter -- Publisher, Nutritionist, and Instructor who assists patients and the public make healthy choices and changes in their lives. Web Site: Healthy YOUbbies. http://www.geocities.com/healthyoubbies/
Unable to open RSS Feed $XMLfilename with error HTTP ERROR: 404, exiting
How to Grow Sprouts
Sprouts not only taste good, but they are also a great source of vitamins, fiber, protein, anti-oxidants, and enzymes. A sprout is produced when a seed starts growing into a vegetable.
Take Back Your Life 5
In parts 1-4 of this series of articles titled "Take Back Your Life", we discussed what could be considered the four wheels of the human wellness vehicle. We discussed the importance of proper cell function, the necessity of having and maintaining a balanced endocrine system, and the role of vitamins and minerals, including certain trace minerals as they relate to wellness, and the value of antioxidants.
Policosinol and Cholesterol Reduction
The word cholesterol has become synonymous with poor health. Indeed, one does not typically hear the word used, or see it printed, unless it points to yet another distressing fact -- that high cholesterol is the number one factor for coronary heart disease, and the number one cause of heart attacks[i].
The Magic in Food: LOVE
Remember the old adage, you are what you eat? The simplest magical ritual that you can do is to cut open a fruit or vegetable and eat it while thinking of your magical intention. Below is a compilation of common foods and their metaphysical associations.
TsuNoni - Green Tea Meets Noni
East Meets WestAsian cultures have realized the medical benefits of green tea for centuries. Those who drank it lived longer, healthier lives.
Balanced Diet: Know More on Healthy and Nutritional Balanced Diet!
In this fast paced world, good nutrition may sound very simple but it is indeed really difficult to practice it. We eat too many processed foods or we tend to miss some meals.
Food for Healthy Nails
Nails are a protective horn at the end of our most sensitive extremities: fingers and toes. They can often become injured from accidents or crushing weight such as heavy walking or running.
The Dangers of High Fructose Corn Syrup
High Fructose Corn SyrupBefore we get to high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), we will take a look at two other frequently used sweeteners, dextrose and maltodextrin.DextroseDextrose is more or less an industry term for glucose.
Refrigerator Water Filters vs. Bottled Water: Round 1
Water is the single most important element for human existence, yet many people do not know much about water. Water comprises 60% of a human's body weight, counts for 80% of our blood, and comprises over 65% of our brain and muscles.
Nutritional Myths that Just Wont Die: Protein!
When it comes to the topic of sports nutrition there are many myths and fallacies that float around like some specter in the shadows. They pop up when you least expect them and throw a monkey wrench into the best laid plans of the hard training athlete trying to make some headway.
A Home Water Filter - Do We Need To Filter Our Drinking Water?
Do we really need a home water filter? Can't we just assume the water that flows from our kitchen and bathroom tap is sufficiently treated for contaminants by our municipal water facility? In order to answer these questions, we need to obtain a little more background information.Next to air, water is the most important element for our survival.
Eat Right For A Healthy Life
Our diet is an essential factor for the formation of our body. It is clearly mentioned in an Ayurvedic classic 'Charak Samhita' that consuming improper diet in improper way is the main cause of 'Disease'.
Confessions of a Personal Fitness Trainer
Last year I had a number of clients who started stubbornly on the Atkins diet despite my warnings. Immediately I saw almost profound results in their weight loss.
The Most Effective Treatments for Acid Reflux Disease
Acid reflux disease, or GERD, is a common compliant of the digestive system, often characterised by persistent burning or discomfort behind the breastbone. As the symptoms of GERD can mimic those of coronary disease, it is important that you visit your doctor, if you have chronic heartburn.
Eating Disorders Do Not Discriminate
Who suffers from Eating Disorders?Eating Disorder sufferers are male and female alike. We are of all ethnicity's, religions,and economic backgrounds.
Did You Start Your Life With Enough Probiotics?
Why does disease begin in the digestive tract? Yourdigestive tract is your first line of defense when it comesto your health. This is because of the good bacteria thatresides there.
Clues for Fibromyalgia Relief
Fibromyalgia is a chronic and potentially life-altering disorder with symptoms such as extreme muscle pain, extraordinary fatigue and multiple tender and painful points. Fibromyalgia itself tends to be similar in many aspects to rheumatic diseases although it differs from arthritis in that there is no known inflammation or damage to the joints, muscles or tissues.
Health Update: Have Your Chocolate and Eat It, Too!
According to the Congress of the International Society on Thrombosis & Haemostasis, a report released on August 10, 2005 elaborates how "Cocoa is the New Red Wine..
Blood Type and Diet
Eating right to suit your blood type" is a subject that is come up a lot in the chat rooms lately, so as promised, here is more information about the topic.First of all there are two bibles on this subject written by Dr.
How Can I Uncover Hidden Sugar And Prevent Carb Creep?
Many low carb dieters fall victim to "carb creep," which is triggered carb binges, caused by creeping intakes of carbs. This is particularly a problem after finishing the stricter early phases of their plans.
|home | site map | contact us