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Skim-Milk Increases Satiety and Reduces Food Intake

I have frequently discussed the merits of ensuring adequate protein intake.

A study just published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition by Emma Dove and colleagues from the University of Western Australia, Perth, compares the effect of drinking 600 mL (~20 oz) of skim-milk versus 600 mL of a fruit drink in addition to a fixed-calorie breakfast on self-reported satiety and ad libitum food consumption at lunch. In this randomised cross-over trial in 47 overweight men and women, both drinks provided the exactly the same number of calories (~250 KCal), but the milk provided 25 g of protein versus <1 g protein in the fruit drink.

Participants reported a higher level of satiety throughout the morning and consumed an average of 8.5% less calories at lunch.

The authors conclude that consumption of skim milk, rather than a fruit drink (for the same amount of calories), leads to increased perceptions of satiety and to decreased energy intake at a subsequent meal.

Thus, in terms of reducing appetite (or rather increasing satiety), all calories are certainly not created equal.

Edmonton, Alberta


  1. Hmm, my first snarky thought is “didn’t you also say, “don’t drink your calories” and Yoni Freedhoff recommended against drinking milk as a source of calcium (saying that suppliments would be a better way to go to save calories). In my experience, drinking 1% milk (lactose-free) does seem to provide me with a high level of satiety and can actually satisfy a desire for sweet foods, especially in the evening.

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  2. I guess it is more about drinking “empty calories” – pop, fruit drinks, and alcohol don’t do much for satiety and so the body does not “count” them as calories. MIlk (because of its high protein content?) apparently registers as “food”.

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  3. I wonder about the message of “not drinking calories” when coffee and tea have health benefits (and are generally low calorie) and also some appetite suppressing effects, and I wonder about the benefits of moderate alcohol consumption in terms of a mild stress relieving effect that may blunt the drive to overeat, especially at dinner. Drinks like coffee and wine might end up having an overall positive impact on health for people who don’t have a reason to avoid them. I think the “don’t drink your calories” message may be too simplistic.

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  4. Milk consumption leading to satiety could be true, but it could make the system more acidic, and that way coud harm for the body , as the body works better in an alkaline staus,which is what promted by ingestion of fruits(including lemon) and frits do.

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