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Alcohol facts and effects infosheet.

Alcoholic drinks can add a significant number of kilojoules/calories to our diet.

While alcohol may be created through the fermentation of sugars from foods such as grapes, other fruits, vegetables and grains, this does not make alcohol a healthy fermented food. This is because as the sugar/ carbohydrates change into alcohol they form a very concentrated form of energy.

E.g.Protein and carbohydrate contribute 4 kcals/ 17kJ per gram; fat contributes 9kcals/37kJ/gm and alcohol contributes 7kcal/29kj/gm.

In a recent adult nutrition survey in New Zealand, it was found that alcohol is consumed by 1 in 3 (34%) of people aged 15 years and over. Amongst those alcohol consumers, alcoholic drinks contributed 11% of their total daily energy intake.

Why does this matter?

The drinks that contribute the most kilojoules are those with a greater percentage of alcohol, sweet drinks or drinks that include sweetened mixes.

What we eat and drink alongside alcoholic drinks also add kilojoules to the daily mix.

Alcohol contributes to the accumulation of visceral (abdominal) fat and changes our body composition.

Keeping alcohol intake low or choosing not to drink alcohol can help prevent or reduce extra weight gain and long-term harm for alcohol users, such as injuries, falls, liver and pancreatic disease, heart disease and some cancers.

This Alcohol facts and effects info sheet from hpa (Health promotion agency) can help you to see, at a glance, where your extra kilojoules are coming from when you choose to drink alcohol.

Zero alcohol drinks

In the last year or so there has been a lot of work going into the development of alcoholic drinks with zero alcohol kilojoules. Low alcohol beers have been around for quite some time but now alcohol free wines and spirits are also hitting our shelves. e.g. The Urban list

This work is still in its infancy and it has yet to be subjected to random controlled trials and health science research.  So, while  I am not able to endorse these products I do still think that it is important people know about these drinks and expect them to be a very useful way for people to evade much of the harm normally associated with alcohol.

I’ll be sure to keep you posted. 🙂

If you would like help to assess the energy contribution that alcohol is making to your diet then contact me today

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