It’s a start of another year. Are you making plans to eat well and stay fit? If so, don’t forget about the significant calories from alcoholic beverages. A 12 fluid oz can of regular beer or a 5 fluid oz glass of red wine can contain about 125-150 calories. In contrast, a serving of fruit or vegetable not only provides less than 60 calories, but also contains vitamins and fiber. See this link for further info on the caloric content of different alcohol drinks: https://www.rethinkingdrinking.niaaa.nih.gov/tools/Calculators/calorie-calculator.aspx
Even if eating healthy is not your goal this year, it’s good to know alcohol is the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States.1 In 2014, 31% of overall driving fatalities were due to alcohol. Also in 2015, 47% of liver disease deaths among individuals ages 12 and older were related to alcohol. Drinking alcohol increases the risk of cancers of the mouth, esophagus, pharynx, larynx, liver, and breast. Excessive alcohol consumption during pregnancy leads to fetal alcohol syndrome which can have a lasting impact on a child’s cognitive and motor development.
A recent re-evaluation of all the studies involving alcohol consumption and mortality from coronary heart disease (CHD) have actually concluded the reduction of CHD risk is not consistent.2 For this reason, it’s best to consider other diet and lifestyle options to decrease your risk of CHD. Those who do not drink alcohol, there’s no need to start doing so now. 3,4 For others, limit your mojito or margarita to 1 drink during a social event. Cheers!
What is considered one drink?5
- 12 fl oz of beer
- 8-9 fl oz of malt liquor
- 5 fl oz of wine
- 1.5 fl oz of 40-proof spirits
- 1.5 fl oz of 80-proof spirits
- 1 fl oz of 100-proof spirits
What is considered light to moderate amount?5
For men, limit alcohol to 1 to 2 drinks a day. For women, limit alcohol to 1 drink a day.
Written By: Katelyn Tran, MPG, RD, CNSC
Email Katelyn@angelfood.org for citations as needed