Smoothies are a great dieting snack as they are packed full of fibre – which leaves you feeling full. However new research has suggested that thicker drinks can lead to “phantom fullness”, even when they have less calories than thinner drinks, so the thicker you make your smoothie the less likely you’ll be snacking later in the day.
New research from a University in the Netherlands asked participants to drink one of four dairy based shakes, differing in thickness (some were thick and some were thinner) and calorie content (some were 100 calories and some were 500), but all the drinks were 50% carbohydrate, 20% protein and 30% fat.
Participants in the study were asked to fast for three hours then drink their drink through a straw, but they didn’t know which of the four kinds they were drinking and afterwards researchers monitored their appetites.
The results of the experiment showed that the thickness of the drink did account for feelings of fullness, as participants drinking the thick 100 calorie shake were left feeling fuller than those that drank the thin 500 calorie shake! So calories appeared not to cause fullness, instead the thickness of the drink played a more significant role. Researchers called this consequence “phantom fullness”.
The results of the experiment show that adding thickeners to your smoothies such as yoghurt, oats, chia seeds and peanut butter can leave you feeling fuller for longer than thinner smoothies.