Week of:
Nov 17, 2017

Solid versus liquid calories — Which is better?

(1) Hi Alice,

I have to admit, I hate to cook. Because I have special diet issues (mostly allergies), cooking is extremely time consuming. Often I find myself just eating one-item meals (carrots, anyone?) or just not eating. So I've considered buying myself one of those super high-powered blenders that can turn anything into a smoothie-type drink.

My question is though, is it safe to live on a liquid diet for a long period of time if I'm sure to get a variety of foods in there? Or will it make my digestive tract lazy if I want to actually eat a solid meal?

(2) Dear Alice,

Would it be dangerous for me to take in all my calories in liquid form? Also, is it true that liquid calories are lost quicker than solid calories?

Sincerely,
Confused About Calories

Good vs. bad fats

Dear Alice,

I know it's necessary to have a certain amount of fat in your diet, but occasionally I hear about "good fat" and "bad fat." What is the difference? Is that the same as saturated/unsaturated? What foods have "good fat"? Can I tell by looking at the nutrition label on a food product which kind of fat I'm eating?

— Curious

Sugars: Natural versus added

Alice,

I have a family history of diabetes, so I try and control my sugar intake. I am having a lot of trouble figuring out how much sugar is the maximum amount of sugar to allow in my diet. I have read that "added sugar" intake should be limited to no more than ten percent of your daily calories, but I have no idea how to determine what amount of sugar in food is natural versus added. I assume that all sugars in fresh fruits, vegetables and non-processed meats/poultry/fish and dairy are natural, and those should be excluded from the ten percent max. And, I also am assuming that any sugars found in any other products — for example, the protein powder, almond milk or coconut cream I use in my morning smoothies, and packaged foods and condiments of any type — should be counted against the ten percent. But, I don't know whether any of these assumptions are correct, and I have no idea what my total amount of sugars — natural and added — should be in any given day. I try to stay under 35 grams per day, but that can be very difficult for me to do each day without carefully monitoring the nutritional content of every food using a food tracking application. That gets exhausting! Can you provide some guidance on this?