Liquid Calories: Why Include Them in Our Menu Plans

by | Oct 28, 2011 | Health Habits, Nutrition Support, Uncategorized

Ask anyone on a diet plan and chances are, they will sheepishly agree they do not count calories from the liquids they consume. When working on their diet plan, every solid food item they consume or desire to eat is carefully checked and the calories worked out. In all this, people often forget that liquid calories count just as much as calories from solid food. In fact, we need to be more careful with liquid calories because there is higher potential for ‘empty’ calories to sneak in through the liquids we consume.

The quantity of liquids is what could bust our diet.

So many of us struggling to maintain our diet plan, casually open the fridge and either directly drink from a carton of fruit juice or pour ourselves a glass full of fruit juice. Each serving of fruit juice is 120 to 150 liquid calories. The sweeter fruit juices have even more liquid calories in them. If you have had just three or four glasses of fruit juice in a day, you might have added as much as 600 liquid calories to your diet. If you have not been counting these liquid calories then chances are your diet plan will be a bust – and more so if the liquids you have been drinking also included popular sweet aerated drinks.

Zero-calorie sweetened aerated drinks are the bane of all diet plans.

How much more chemicals are we going to consume? Ingested chemicals not only confuse our body but could also be potentially carcinogenic. As an experienced dietitian and nutritional expert, let me say this; any food or drink that contains liquid calories in the form of white sugar is okay. White natural sugar is not harmful because it can be exercised out. If on the other hand, we drink something that contains the so-called ‘zero calorie’ sweetener, our body gets confused because it expects nutrition and calories. When our stomach receives neither from the sweet liquid we consumed, it triggers a hunger signal. This is why after drinking a zero-calorie drink, you feel hungry shortly thereafter and your carefully formulated diet plan goes bust. Little surprise then, that so many good folks wonder why they do not lose weight despite being on a highly rated (and often expensive) diet plan.

Be aware of the corn syrup trick.

Almost all manufacturers of bottled sweet drinks use corn syrup instead of white sugar. Corn syrup is just as sweet as white sugar but is less expensive to buy. Artificially sweetened fruit juices also contain corn syrup instead of regular white sugar. Problem with corn syrup is that it is more damaging than white sugar because it represents liquid calories that are more difficult to eliminate via exercise. Some researchers go as far as to warn us that corn syrup triggers the body to store more fat. While USDA has yet to comment on these claims, it is best to stay away from sweetened and zero calorie drinks including artificially sweetened fruit juices lest their liquid calories bust your diet plan.

Good rule of thumb is to drink more water than any other liquids – it is the single most important liquid for our body anyway!