Alcohol and Your Diet
I have received some questions from my readers about alcohol and how it affects our diet. Since I have been talking about nutrition I thought this might be a good time to discuss how alcohol adversely affects our diet plans. Now, some alcohol in moderation can be good for us (lower blood pressure). If, however, you are exceeding one drink daily, you might be sabotaging your weight loss plans. Below is an adapted article from spark.com by Liz Noelcke.
1) Alcohol is metabolized differently than other foods and beverages. Under normal conditions, your body gets its energy from the calories in carbohydrates, fats and proteins that need to be slowly digested in the stomach. When alcohol is consumed, it gets special privileges and needs no digestion. The alcohol molecules diffuse through the stomach wall as soon as they arrive and can reach the brain and liver in minutes. This reaction is slightly slowed when there is also food in your system, but as soon as the mixed contents enter the small intestine, the alcohol grabs first place and is absorbed quickly. The alcohol then arrives at the liver for processing. The liver places all of its attention on the alcohol. Therefore, the carbohydrates (glucose) and dietary fats are just changed into body fat, waiting to be carried away for permanent fat storage in the body.
2) Alcohol lowers your inhibitions, which is detrimental to your diet plans. Alcohol actually stimulates your appetite. While you might be full from a comparable amount of calories from food, several drinks might not fill you up. On top of that, research shows that if you drink before or during a meal, both your inhibitions and willpower are reduced. In this state, you are more likely to overeat—especially greasy or fried foods—which can add to your waistline.
3) What are more important, calories or carbs? You might think that drinking liquor is more diet-friendly because it has no carbohydrates, while both wine and beer do contain carbs. But dieters need to watch calories, and liquor only has a few calories less than beer or wine. Plus, it is often mixed with other drinks, adding even more empty calories. Hard liquor contains around 100 calories per shot, so adding a mixer increases calories even more. If you are going to mix liquor with anything, opt for a club soda, instead of fruit juice or regular soda.
The list below breaks down the number of calories in typical alcoholic drinks. Compare some of your favorites to make a good choice next time you decide to indulge in a serving of alcohol.
|Red wine||5 oz.||100|
|White wine||5 oz.||100|
|Light beer||12 oz.||105|
|Regular beer||12 oz.||140|
|Dark beer||12 oz.||170|
|Long Island iced tea||8 oz.||400|
|Gin & Tonic||8 oz.||175|
|Rum & Soda||8 oz.||180|
|Whiskey Sour||4 oz.||200|
Keep the great emails coming!
Yours in health,
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