Liquid Calories Are Uniquely Fattening

Liquid Calories Are Uniquely Fattening

It is a myth that all calories are created equal.

Different foods go through different metabolic pathways and have different effects on hunger, hormones and the brain centers that control body weight (18, 19Trusted Source).

The brain is in charge of regulating energy balance.

When we add a food to our diet, our brains “compensate” by making us eat less of other foods instead (20Trusted Source).

For example, if we were to start eating 2 boiled potatoes every day, we would subconsciously end up eating less of other foods, so our total calorie intake wouldn’t increase much, if at all.

Well, it turns out that liquid calories don’t work the same way as calories from solid foods. When people add liquid calories to their diet, like apple juice, they don’t compensate by eating less of other foods instead (21Trusted Source).

This is one of the reasons that sugary drinks are among the most fattening foods in existence. They don’t contribute to fullness, making us eat more overall (22Trusted Source).

One study in children showed that the risk of obesity was increased by 60% for each daily serving of sugar-sweetened beverages (23).

There is no reason to assume that fruit juices would have a different effect than sugary drinks, if they are consumed in the same amounts.

Several studies show that fruit juice is linked to an increased risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes, while whole fruit is linked to a decreased risk (24, 25Trusted Source, 26Trusted Source, 27Trusted Source, 28Trusted Source).

Eat Whole Fruit, But Skip the Juice… It’s Not Healthy
In nutrition guidelines, fruit juice is often said to count towards the recommended 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day.

I think this is a huge mistake, because it sends the message that fruit juice is healthy and a good source of nutrients.

Most people are already eating way too much sugar… and reducing sugar intake is much more important than getting the small amount of nutrients found in fruit juice.

Instead of juice, eat your fruit whole. That way, you also get all the fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals found naturally in the fruit.

Overall, drinking fruit juice in small amounts may be okay for some individuals, but people need to realize that despite the health halo, fruit juice really is very similar to sugary soda.

Most importantly, your liver can’t tell the difference. All of the harmful effects of sugary drinks also apply to fruit juice.

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