There are several reasons why you should pay attention to moderate alcohol consumption. Maintaining our health comes first, but it’s essential to keep in mind that alcohol also affects our weight, which also affects our general well-being. The good news is that according to nutritionists, you don’t have to become abstinent, you don’t have to say goodbye to your favourite palinka, you just need to maintain a sense of moderation.
Few people know that one single gram of alcohol contains almost twice as many calories (7 kcal/g) as a gram of sugar (4 kcal/g); its energy content is higher than that of protein and carbohydrates, approx. equivalent to fats. Moreover, alcohol is considered an “empty” calorie because it has no real nutritional value; the human body cannot utilize or store it (as opposed to protein and fat) so it tries to get rid of it as soon as possible. There is a significant difference in the calorie content of each drink, so it does matter what and how often we drink. A nice, colourful cocktail can have up to 700 calories, while a glass of rosé has only 120 calories. But, for example, if you sip 150 ml, antioxidant-rich red wine every night, it can increase your energy intake by 1300 calories a week. Shocking, isn’t it?
SUGAR CONTENT AND THE ROLE OF THE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM
The breakdown of alcohol is stressful for the human liver as well: it takes up to 1 hour to break down 0.1 grams of alcohol per kilogram of body weight. It means that for a man weighing 80 kilograms, 100 ml of red wine (13.5% abv; 10.8 grams of alcohol) breaks down in approximately 80 minutes. The breakdown of the same glass of wine is broken down by the liver of a 60 kg woman in 110 minutes. The amount of alcohol that the liver is unable to break down enters the bloodstream, and reaches all the organs in the body, affecting their normal function.
When it comes to the effect of alcoholic beverages on our body weight, we definitely need to talk about the sugars and carbohydrates present in our drinks as well. Creamy, sweet cream liqueurs and cocktails are real calorie bombs – almost everyone knows that – but what about the other drinks?
NO NEED TO SAY GOODBYE TO ALCOHOL WHEN YOU ARE ON A DIET
It is important to consider not only food but also alcohol as calories, so you can drink more carefully and make wiser decisions. Pay attention to the amount consumed, choose the purest drinks possible, and when placing an order, do not ask for extra syrup, let alone extra sugar in your cocktail. If you want to keep your dream body, it’s good to know which drink contains how many calories! With the four options below, you don’t have to worry about weight gain. (Please keep in mind that the following calorie numbers are per serving!)
RED WINE – 125 KCAL
Red wine – rich in antioxidants – has several beneficial effects. If you’re preparing for a family gathering, red wine can be one of the healthiest choices. Look for dry red wines like Pinot noir or Cabernet sauvignon.
ROSÉ – 120 KCAL
A glass of light rosé is also an excellent choice, as long as it’s not too sweet. Avoid dessert wine versions that have a much higher sugar content. As a general rule, the more alcohol it contains, the more calories it contains, so always look at the labels.
GIN & TONIC – 120 KCAL
An average gin tonic isn’t exactly diet-friendly, but if you ask for a sugar-free tonic, you can significantly reduce the calorie intake. If you don’t have zero tonic, be creative and make it with carbonated water and fresh grapefruit.
PLUM PALINKA – 105 KCAL
Palinka is one of the purest and fruitiest alcoholic beverages. It contains no added sugar, which makes it even more diet-friendly. Classic plum palinka is an amazingly aromatic drink – the best aperitif before you sit down for lunch or dinner. The sweet taste of plum is combined with a fiery feeling in the mouth: a match made in heaven.