Fluids Could Make You Fat

9 years 8 months 2 weeks ago October 01, 2007 Oct 1, 2007 Monday, October 01 2007 Monday, October 01, 2007 6:41:13 PM CDT in News
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We all know the saying, "you are what you eat." Now you may need to also consider: "you are what you drink."

Lots of people know Bob Levey from his days as a Washington Post columnist. Most of them don't know about his split personality. The one he developed when he got serious about healthy eating.

"Bad Bob would have had a great big bottle of lemonade for lunch today. Calories? 190-210, something like that. One of those snap off the lid things. Good Bob has a can of diet ginger ale. Calories: Zero," former columnist Bob Levey said.

But it wasn't always like that for Bob; his fridge used to be full of high calorie beverages, including his personal nemesis: beer. But then he met D-C nutritionist Katherine Tallmadge. She taught him that what you drink plays a leading role when it comes to your health, especially related to calories.

"Studies have shown when people get their calories from drinks, they end up eating more overall calories. That makes them more prone to being overweight," nutritionist Katherine Tallmadge said.

But obesity isn't the only thing that's affected by what you drink: tooth decay, heart disease, diabetes, bone strength, and more are all linked to what you drink.

"I think that's the most important thing is the amount that they contribute to the calories that they take each day, which can lead to excess weight gain, which then leads to other things like chronic diseases," Internal Medicine's Matthew Mintz said.

So what should we being drinking? Tallmadge says the best drink of all is simply: water. Other beneficial drinks include milk. Tallmadge says to get three servings of skim or soy milk every day because they're loaded with calcium, protein and magnesium. A small serving of alcohol can also protect against heart disease. But be careful here: too much alcohol can be harmful to your heart. Half a cup of orange juice in the morning gives a good boost of Vitamin C. But tallmadge warns that too much juice can cause weight gain.

"It's just too concentrated a sugar source. Usually, I recommend juices as a nutritious way for people to gain weight."

Levey is sticking with his "good bob" persona ... For the long term: "If you want to last a long time, you really got to make these decisions and you've got to make them everyday."

Many the newer drinks, like water supplemented with vitamins or electrolytes, are still packed with calories and sugar.

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