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Alcohol and health

The issue of alcohol and calories proved to be of much interest to a number of recipients of this note. Most people want to be slim and healthy and enjoy a glass of wine, so that’s probably not surprising. Andy and I have been quite fascinated by the subject. We have never believed that alcohol calories are metabolised like food calories in the body (and different food calories are metabolised differently to each other e.g. protein vs. carbs). However, we have become increasingly convinced that alcohol calories may not count at all, other than the carb ones. It’s always the carbs!

When you go to my favourite web site and put in, say, steak – the protein grams multiplied by 4 calories a gram plus the fat grams multiplied by 9 calories a gram approximate to the total calories for the steak. i.e. the macronutrient parts (carb/fat/protein) together add up to the calorie content – approximately – this has never been a precise (or valid) science.

Specialised sites are better for nutritional information about alcohol. If you check Tequila here, it has 0 grams carb, 0 grams fat, 0 grams protein and all the calories come from alcohol (13.9 grams at approximately 7 calories per gram = 97 cals). But – is this the same as the coal example from last week? The body registers fat, protein and carbohydrate. Do we know that it sees alcohol calories like food or coal? I don’t know.


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