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Do we know how many calories we consume with alcohol?

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As of December 2019, all alcohol bottles have energy content information on their labels

Manufacturers in Europe must declare the calories in alcohol on bottle labels. This comes after Brussels called on the industry to introduce its own rules to improve healthy habits.

If we have to give, as an example, the calories in a bottle of wine, which is equivalent to a few donuts or two greasy burgers, and a large whiskey – to two slices of cake.

They say that people who drink a lot of beer get fat. And there’s a good reason for that. Have you ever wondered how many calories are in a beer? Of all the alcoholic drinks on the market, we have compiled a table of the most suitable so that you can see the number of calories in different alcoholic drinks. Explore how calorie counts vary (mainly due to sugar content) in different types of beer and liquor, and decide how alcohol might affect your diet this year.

Although drinking alcoholic beverages has long been a human ritual, it is difficult to recommend it because of its nutritional value. Moreover, alcohol depletes the most important vitamins and minerals in the body: vitamins of group B, C, K and minerals – zinc, magnesium and potassium.

How many calories are in alcoholic beverages?

Pure alcohol is called ethanol. Its content in alcoholic beverages varies greatly, starting at 4.5% (beer), going through 13.5% (wine) and reaching up to 90% (absinthe). Not to mention that there are also drinks whose alcohol content is 96% (Polish Spiritus vodka), but this is pure alcohol for us.

The calorie content of ethanol is as many as 7 calories per gram. This is almost double the caloric content of proteins and carbohydrates, which contain only 4 calories per gram. Of course, this does not mean that 100 grams of vodka contains 700 calories. However, for the most part (at least most), alcoholic beverages are made up of water, which has zero energy value. To calculate the exact calorie content of a given drink, we need to do a few simple calculations.

Let’s take beer for example. The alcohol content in the beer is 4.5%. This means that there are 4.5 grams of ethanol in 100 grams (or milliliters). Since we already know that 1 gram of ethanol contains 7 calories, we can easily calculate that the calorie content of 100 milliliters of beer is 31.5 calories (7 x 4.5). This means that one beer (0.5 l) contains nearly 160 calories, and that’s just from ethanol (some drinks have some sugar and other nutrients that add to the caloric content).

Table of calories of alcoholic beverages

Product/Quantity -Energy value (kcal) -Proteins (g)- Lipids (g) -Carbohydrates (g):

Light beer/100 ml – 42 – 0.3 – 0.0 – 4.6

Brown beer/100 ml – 48 – 0.3 – 0.0 – 5.7

Beer without alcohol/100 ml – 27 – 0.2 – 0.0 – 5.2

Brandy 40%/100 ml – 225 – 0.0 – 0.0 – 0.5

Cognac 40%/100 ml – 239 – 0.0 – 0.0 – 0.1

Gin 40%/100 ml – 220 – 0.0 – 0.0 – 0.0

Liqueur 24%/100 ml – 345 – 0.0 – 0.0 – 53.0

Fruit liqueur/100 ml – 215 – 0.0 – 0.0 – 28.0

Ponch 26%/100 ml – 260 – 0.0 – 0.0 – 30.0

Rum 40%/100 ml – 220 – 0.0 – 0.0 – 0.0

Semi-sweet champagne/100 ml – 97 – 0.2 – 0.0 – 7.0

Semi-dry champagne/100 ml – 83 – 0.1 – 0.0 – 3.4

Sweet champagne/100 ml – 117 – 0.2 – 0.0 – 12.0

Sherry 20%/100 ml – 152 – 0.0 – 0.0 – 10.0

Vermouth 13%/100 ml – 158 – 0.0 – 0.0 – 15.9

Semi-sweet white wine/100 ml – 92 – 0.0 – 0.0 – 4.4

Dry white wine/100 ml – 73 – 0.0 – 0.0 – 2.4

Port wine 20%/100 ml – 167 – 0.0 – 0.0 – 13.7

Semi-dry wine/100 ml – 78 – 0.0 – 0.0 – 3.7

Madeira wine 18%/100 ml – 139 – 0.0 – 0.0 – 10.0

Semi-sweet red wine/100 ml – 96 – 0.0 – 0.0 – 5.5

Sweet red wine/100 ml – 106 – 0.0 – 0.0 – 8.2

Dry red wine/100 ml – 75 – 0.0 – 0.0 – 3.0

Vodka 40%/100 ml – 235 – 0.0 – 0.0 – 0.1

Whiskey 40%/100 ml – 220 – 0.0 – 0.0 – 0.0

How do alcohol and alcohol calories affect human health?

Alcohol has an adverse effect on health, which is why it is prohibited for pregnant and lactating women. Even moderate alcohol consumption reduces the liver’s ability to metabolize glucose and remove toxic metabolic products. Heavy drinking leads to damage to the liver and brain, blood vessels, has a negative effect on blood clotting processes, leads to varicose veins, hemorrhoids, blood clots, prostate diseases and infertility. It increases energy intake through its high caloric content and helps to accumulate extra pounds.

Alcohol also accelerates the development of age-related diseases and conditions such as heart rhythm disorders or cataracts, as well as wrinkling of the skin. It promotes mental illnesses such as phobias, depression, emotional and intellectual disorders. It leads to disorders in the functioning of nerve cells and the brain, impairs memory, makes it difficult to remember and store new memories, disrupts balance, weakens reflexes, makes it difficult to concentrate and make decisions. It dulls the senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste and feel, and can even lead to hallucinations. Last but not least, it seriously affects sleep health by reducing its positive effects.

Drinking wine and beer in moderation, which is typical of French cuisine, especially in social situations, can be enjoyable and help reduce stress. Alcohol, consumed in accordance with the principles of table service, in small quantities (500 ml of beer or 200 ml of wine for men and 330 ml and 150 ml for women, respectively), increases blood pressure. When the amounts exceed the limits recommended above, alcohol acts as a vasodilator – it lowers blood pressure and the full spectrum of negative effects occurs. Alcohol leads to addiction.

However, the effect becomes negative (and quite a bit) when we start to overdo it with alcohol intake. High blood pressure, impaired liver function, increased risk of developing heart disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes are just some of the pathological conditions associated with excessive alcohol consumption. This is well known and proven by numerous scientific studies.

But there’s something else that’s less well-known about alcoholic beverages. Are you ready? They can be more caloric even than food. Yes, that’s right – alcoholic beverages can significantly increase your daily calorie intake, contributing to weight gain and obesity.

What is the permissible daily intake of alcohol?

The World Health Organization recommends that the daily intake of alcohol should not exceed 1-2 alcoholic units for women and 2-3 alcoholic units for men. It is also advisable to give yourself at least 2 days off during the week ie. minimum 2 alcohol-free days per week.

1 alcohol unit equals 10 ml. or 8 g of ethanol. In 50 milliliters of vodka, which contains 40% pure alcohol, there are 20 milliliters of ethanol, which means that small vodka is equal to 2 alcohol units. A large glass of wine or a pint of beer of 0.5 liters equals about 3 alcohol units.

Photo by Magda Ehlers: https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-poring-cocktail-on-clear-drinking-glass-1189257/

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