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    Archive for the ‘liquor’ Category

    You Ask, I Answer: Alcohol & Weight Loss

    tall_beerI would like to know the calorie content for beer, hard liquor and wine.

    If you’re trying to lose weight, what kind of alcohol should you stick to/try to avoid?

    Is it better to drink wine instead of beer?

    — Lori (last name withheld)
    Ottawa, Ontario

    As far as calorie figures are concerned, please refer to this post from July 2009.

    If weight-loss is your goal, though, liquid calories should be the first to go.

    Unless you are talking about homemade smoothies made with whole fruits and fiber-rich ingredients like oat bran and ground flax, liquid calories do very little towards helping you feel full, making it very easy to consume several hundred calories and still feel hungry.

    The best alcohol to drink is the one you simply drink less of.

    If, for instance, you find that one glass of red wine satisfies you the same way that three beers do, then wine is the best choice.

    Wine is not “more fattening” than beer, or vice versa.

    That said, keep in mind that mixed drinks are often higher in calories because they also include soda, fruit juice, or cream, all of which add extra calories.

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    You Ask, I Answer: Nutrition Labels on Alcoholic Beverages

    Mike's Hard LemonadeWhy don’t alcoholic beverages have nutrition labels?

    — Corey Clark
    (Location Unknown)

    The answer is quite dull — bureaucracy.

    Since alcohol is regulated by the US Bureau of Tobacco, Alcohol, and Firearms — and not the Food & Drug Administration — those products are not required to carry a Nutrition Facts label.

    Interestingly, any alcoholic beverages that make weight or calorie-related claims (such as “light beers”) must display calorie values.

    Last year, there was talk of the Department of Treasury — huh? — mandating that all alcoholic beverages display a Nutrition Facts label by 2010, although I don’t know what the current status of that is.

    In the meantime, here are some helpful caloric reminders:

    • A 12-ounce bottle of regular beer contains, on average, 145 calories
    • A 12-ounce bottle of light beer, on average, adds up to 110 calories
    • A 12-ounce bottle of an alcoholic beverage like Mike’s Hard Lemonade or Smirnoff Ice contains approximately 220 calories
    • A 1.5 ounce shot of hard liquor provides, on average, 98 calories (depending on the specific liquor, this figure can range from 80 to 120 calories)
    • A serving of wine (defined as a hard-to-gauge 5 ounces) contains, on average, 115 calories

    As you can imagine, it is easiest to keep track of calories that come in bottles or cans (if you polish off three 12-ounce bottles of regular beer in one night, some simple math reveals you drank approximately 435 calories).

    The problems come in when a bartender makes a drink that may have anywhere from 1.5 to 3 ounces of hard liquor, or when your glass of red wine is refilled throughout the night before it ever has a chance to run empty.

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