Liquid Calories

And what of liquid fats? …

Liquid calories have a trick of largely escaping the notice of the systems we have that note and tally our food/calorie intake.  People will eat just as much at the next meal as if they hadn’t had the liquid.  At least, those of us who are susceptible to weight gain will, I suspect that some of those lucky folk who are relatively resistant to weight gain might have better-performing satiety systems.

Dr Freedhoff has posted on this topic

http://www.weightymatters.ca/2012/04/heart-and-stroke-foundation-health.html

When we say liquid calories, I think for most people what primarily comes to mind is high-sugar liquids, like soft drinks and fruit juice.  In my opinion, for highly susceptible people, these are little fat-making bombs  – you can look down at your waist line and practically see fat lumps sprouting out like little mushrooms.  Beyond that, they can send your blood sugar on a roller coaster and set you up for chaotic eating and be a factor in sugar addiction. (But doctor, why don’t you tell us what you really think?)

What about liquid calories that are not high in sugars?  There is some concern that intake of processed, readily-digestible protein powders, especially whey protein, can stimulate a spike in insulin secretion (although not nearly as much as sugar would).  It has always amazed me that such protein powders (highly processed and stripped basically of all accompanying beneficial nutrients) are so generally thought of as being desirable ‘foods’ to consume daily – even by many who otherwise would turn away from processed food.  Protein in real food will be much more slowly digested and absorbed.

I don’t hear much discussion about fat in the liquid form - i.e. fat separated out of the whole food it was originally part of.  I’m not just thinking here of fat that is liquid at room temperature, which we refer to as oils, such as olive oil, but also as fats that are solid at room temperature, such as butter or lard  – as far as the body is concerned there is no difference because they are still fats separated from any structure of the food they were originally part of (and liquid at body temperature).  They are relatively ‘fast-fats’ in terms of intake and digestion, similar to fast-carbohydrates.  I have not seen any research as to whether that is a concern to keep in mind.

Oct 12/12 – I am reminded again of this by the recent attention to acellular starch following the publication of the ground-breaking paper by Dr. Ian Spreadbury.  I have long wondered – what about acellular fat?  When eating unprocessed foods, I can’t think of much acellular fat a person would run into – except from milk or, I suppose, egg yolks.  Of course, as soon as you apply heat this changes – as in cooking fatty meats.  Do people, or some people, or a few people, have less satiety value from acellular fat than from fat eaten when inside cells?  Having said this, I think the problem with acellular starch is vastly more important and I believe Dr. Spreadbury’s work is a substantial contribution and should receive wide attention.  For people who do not tolerate carbohydrates well, fat in either form is much better than carb loads beyond their tolerance – and now we have this question about impact on the microbiota as well.

I expect there will be more to come on the topic of acellular starch.  To find any other posts on this site that relate to this topic, click on the tag “acellular”. (unfortunately, the “tags” cloud does not ick up content on pages (like this), only on posts.

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