I am excited about this week's tip of the week, because I believe people ignore, or don't quite understand the nutritional facts of alcohol. Do not get me wrong; there is a time and place to enjoy a fun, alcoholic beverage, but it is SO important to know your limits in staying sober, and remaining within your discretionary calorie allotment.
Have you ever wondered how alcohol affects the body? (well, besides the fact that it lowers inhibitions, and makes you feel more social.) To begin, one drink is considered any alcoholic beverage that contains ½ ounce of pure ethanol. Some examples of what that looks like include 5 ounces of wine, 10 ounces of wine cooler, 12 ounces of beer, or 1 ½ ounces of liquor (80 proof whiskey, rum, scotch or vodka). Once in your stomach, alcohol is quickly absorbed through the stomach lining, enters your bloodstream, and travels to the brain. To have better control over your alcohol intake, a good rule of thumb is to make sure you eat snacks containing carbs to slow the absorption of alcohol. High fat/protein meals move slower through the stomach, therefore, increasing absorption of alcohol due to the increased time in contact with stomach lining. Along with that, it is recommended to drink 8 ounces of water with each alcoholic beverage to dilute it in the stomach. Additionally, lemon in water helps detoxify your liver keeping it in greater health to metabolize the food and alcohol you consume.
Though alcohol usually can have a bad reputation, it could be part of a healthy, balanced diet. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans emphasize moderation when it comes to alcohol consumption, stating that women over age 21 can enjoy up to one drink per day, while men over age 21 can enjoy up to two drinks per day. That being said, it is important to be in control of your intake as chronic and heavy alcohol use can take a toll on important organs such as the liver and the heart. Alcoholic beverages can also be high in calories (about 150kcal per average drink) , so if you consume over the recommendation, it will likely result in extra calories/fat storage.
Drink responsibly! :)