December 4, 2008

You Ask, I Answer: Liquid Calories

I've read that we don't really seem to feel full after drinking caloric drinks like soda, [which is why] we can easily guzzle down 600 calories of Pepsi and still feel hungry.

My question is, does this apply just as much to milk, or soymilk?

It seems like while I could guzzle down a full glass of soymilk and not feel that much more satiated, it definitely fills me up more than drinking a glass of Diet Coke.

-- Christine (Last name unknown)

Via the blog

Those studies are absolutely legitimate, but they mainly apply to empty calories like the ones found in soda and fruit drinks (in my mind, KoolAid and its imitations are basically flat soda).

Since these beverages contain nothing but sweeteners, they don't do much in the way of providing satiety. Correction -- they do absolutely NOTHING.

Keep in mind, too, that in your particular case, you are talking about diet soda, which provides zero calories.

Milk and soy milk are more nutritious beverages. They contain protein and some fat (unless you are drinking skim milk), two nutrients that play a significant role in helping us feel full.

This same concept can be applied to food. Take almonds and pretzels.

Pretzels are basically nothing but refined flour -- practically 100 percent fiberless carbohydrate.

Nuts, meanwhile, contains protein, fat, and fiber.

That is why 150 calories of almonds leave you feeling fuller than that same amount of pretzels.

Although liquid calories promote less fullness than solid food, milk and soy milk are certainly more filling than sugar water.

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