Counting Calories in Your Alcohol


Happy Friday folks! With summer in full swing and 4th of July holiday cookouts just around the corner for many of us, I wanted to share a quick post concerning calories in alcoholic beverages. With many of my patients, calories from alcoholic beverages tend to be an afterthought when it comes to accounting to daily calorie consumption. However, I’ve also got a few folks who account for their calories from alcohol so much that they skip meals and snacks so they have enough calories allotted for weekend drinking. This is something we should definitely avoid doing. The way to find a nice balance is making sure you eat routinely throughout the day and be mindful & aware of your liquid calories so you can plan your drinks accordingly. Below I’ve listed a few quick tips (this list could go on forever) to keep in mind while when drinking, especially if you’re outside on a hot day:

  • Avoid Drinking on an Empty Stomach– in fact, make sure you have a meal or snack with a nice mix of carb, protein, and fat (maybe some delicious cheese and crackers) to help slow down the absorption of alcohol and avoid getting sick
  • Stay Hydrated in Between Alcohol Drinks– this is going to be really important on a hot day, especially as the alcohol will serve as a diuretic, making you even more dehydrated. If you’re going for a mixed drink that includes both alcohol and a carbonated, caffeinated beverage, water intake is going to be even more important, so drink up on the H2O and water containing foods such as delicious watermelon
  • Watch What You’re Munching On While Drinking– ever notice that at some bars they put out salty snacks like peanuts or Chex mix? Salty snacky foods like this promote us to drink more as a way to combat or even complement the salty goodness we’re eating so make sure you watch any “mindless” eating that may occur while drinking that can attribute to unnecessary calorie consumption
  • Have a Designated Driver– I know this doesn’t have anything to do with nutrition per se, but I care about your safety and had to include this quick PSA

Okay, now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I wanted to share a few beautiful and HELPFUL graphics from Wine Folly which is a GREAT website for all of you wine loving enthusiasts!

wine-nutrition-facts-calorie-chart1

But what if you’re a beer person? They’ve got you covered!

wine-vs-beer-infographic

If you’re wanting to go with a “lighter” choice in alcoholic beverage, the folks at 213 Pounds to Happiness share their favorite lighter alcoholic beverages.

goodchoices

For a complete listing of calorie content in some of your beverages of choice, including liquors that may not be addressed above, please visit CalorieKing.Com which I enjoy recommended to my patients often. I like to consider a “one stop shop” in terms of looking for the nutrition information on various food items, including commercial restaurant dishes. This tool can be especially helpful when looking up calories in beverages…especially alcohol!

Last but not least…please drink responsibly, friends! This includes but is not limited to drinking and driving, drinking while pregnant, and drinking in excess. Okay, that was my last PSA 🙂 Happy Friday folks!

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3 thoughts on “Counting Calories in Your Alcohol

  1. I have been wondering about the calories in infused liquors. I made a cucumber infused gin and pineapple infused vodka that I mix with flavored seltzers, thinking they are a low calorie choice, but they also taste good from the fruit flavor. Does the fruit or veggies full calories count in those drinks? I strain them out after a week or so (depending on the fruit) but it dramatically changes the color and taste of the liquor.

  2. I think this is a great question. I’ve been trying to look a little more into this for you and I’m not finding anything to concrete suggestion a large transfer of calories from fruit/vegetable source to water/alcohol destination but I think it would be safe to assume that at least with your fruit based infusions there will be some fructose (likely negligible) transfer. However, you can also safely assume that much of the color and taste change will be attributed to the carotenoid and other plant pigments naturally infused in your new beverage that do not necessarily contain calories. I have a few food scientist friends that I’d like to pick their brain on this topic- I’ll keep you posted! In the meantime, this is one of my favorite pages for some different flavor infusion ideas for water and wanted to share – http://nutritionstripped.com/simply-infused-water/#.Uc3Vu2K1F8E

  3. Pingback: 4th of July Healthy Holiday Eating Tips | A Filipino Foodie

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