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Calories in Alcohol: What You Should Know

by | Apr 1, 2016 | Nutrition | 0 comments

While most of us know that an alcoholic beverage isn’t exactly the most diet-friendly beverage, what the majority of us don’t actually realize is the true number of calories in alcohol. This figure comes as a shock to many people who don’t think there would be all that much harm in having a glass or two every evening, or even as a treat.

The truth of the matter is that there is a very large number of calories in alcohol. In fact, that one innocent glass of wine you were thinking of having could actually contain about the same number as about four cookies. A pint of beer will typically have about the same number as a slice of your favorite pizza. Putting it that way can certainly give some perspective to that one innocent glass!

On top of the actual calorific count, the next thing you should know is that the calories in alcohol can be additionally problematic to people who are trying to lose weight, maintain weight, or keep it from being gained. The reason is that these beverages are made through fermentation and distillation of natural starch and sugar. These are the types of carbs that are known to be notorious for packing on the pounds and that make fat especially hard to burn.

After all, the high sugar content of alcohol brings an additional seven calories for every gram. At that level, each gram of sugar contains nearly as many calories as if pure fat were being consumed.

What’s more, unlike high cal foods that are also nutrient dense, you can’t say the same about alcoholic beverages. In fact, there is essentially no nutritional value to be gained from booze. Most contain nothing more than trace amounts of minerals and vitamins, meaning they are empty calories.

Finally, if you’ve been counting on the fact that one glass of wine or beer per day comes with health benefits, you might think again. Recent research is revealing that this widespread belief may not be nearly as true as we once thought. In fact, the latest studies are also starting to disprove prior research that had indicated the opposite.

Overall, it is best to drink alcohol as little as possible. The rare glass or two is unlikely to do much harm but that’s only when it is kept to those rare occasions. Otherwise, you will only be working against your efforts to remain healthy and lose weight.

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