A humble pocket of our society has grown increasingly health conscious in recent years, and while DietsInReview touts the positive exploits of the nutritionally enlightened, there is still a large chunk of the population who simply don’t get it. Proposed nutritional labeling on alcoholic beverages is an issue that could unite both the trim and otherwise alike, and perhaps usher some unhealthy citizens toward the light.
The U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau originally proposed the nutritional labeling in 2007, and have been mulling over its execution since then. The production and consumption of alcohol is big business—it’s said beer is the third most popular beverage in the world—so the fact that nutritional labels aren’t being slapped on cans and bottles already is mystifying. The alcohol manufacturers that have caught on to the calorie conscious trend—Skinny Girl spirits and Miller 64 come to mind—are all for the proposed change. Those same people are fans of the change because they want increased options and awareness of what’s in their libations.
Even the most dedicated fitness buffs enjoy a cocktail every now and then, because as with food, there are low calorie, less harmful ways to imbibe. Also like food, there are a myriad of ways to get your rocks off with booze. Alcohol in its purest form has 7 calories per gram, pure fat has 9.
Our resident nutritional expert, Mary Hartley RD, says “The calories from alcohol are ‘discretionary calories;” they are non-essential like the kind you’d consume in a candy bar or fast food burger.” In other words, they’re bad or empty calories, the kind your body only uses once the essentials are depleted. If you’re reading this, you probably have a basic understanding of nutritional labels, but Mary says that “Only one-third of people look at the Nutrition Facts on packaging.”
Alcohol can be a diet killer if you aren’t educated. Say you’ve worked out every day in a week, even Friday night, and feel like blowing off some steam come Saturday. Enjoying just six beverages can add anywhere from 1,000-2,500 calories to your daily caloric consumption, which should already max at 2,000 calories for most people. Mixed drinks with soda or dairy can contain up to 500 calories.
It’s not all bad, as Mary notes certain beers have essential vitamins and nutrients, and red wine contains the essential antioxidant resveratrol. Many people think the stronger and less diluted the cocktail and spirit is (i.e. drinking it neat or with just a splash of soda), the fewer calories it will have. False. Vodka and rum have 64 calories per ounce, whiskey and gin have 70, and tequila has 96 fiery calories per jigger.
Whether nutritional labels become a liquor store staple or not, DietsInReview.com has the answer to your healthy quaffing prayers: moderation! Now, that might come as a surprise, seeing as we’ve never talked about it before, but there is no miracle dieting cure, and moderation is the safest bet to equalize any ills in your quest to slenderize. If reading this makes you feel like never drinking again, Mary mentioned, “Some alcoholic beverages aren’t all bad. Beer has been a part of a healthy diet since the beginning of time.” Cheers!
image via dailyrecord.co.uk
June 12th, 2013