People tend to count calories when it comes to food, but not many are very familiar with alcohol calories. How many are there in your favorite drinks?
When you go to the supermarket, all of the foods you pick up have their calories written on their sleeve. Or more precisely, their labels. But brewers, distillers, and winemakers are under no obligation to do that. According to Vox, the drink-related industries have been lobbying for years to keep it that way. Researchers in the BMJ called for mandatory nutrition labels, saying that alcoholic drinks contribute to obesity.
Some of the biggest brewers in America, like Anheuser-Busch, MillerCoors, Heineken USA, Constellation Brands Beer Division, North American Breweries, and Craft Brew Alliance, promised to begin publishing nutrition information on labels by next year. But that’s just beer and just the calories in beer. Wines, spirits, and mixed drinks will still be unknowns. Especially since a lot of them contain a lot of added sugars, flavors, and preservatives.
Lindsay Moyer, senior nutritionist at the Center for Science in Public Interest (CSPI) has started to track calories in popular alcoholic drinks. Her findings were published in CSPI’s Nutrition Action website.
Check the list out, to know what you're dealing with when drinking and even cooking with alcohol if you're into counting calories.
Alcohol calories: how does beer fit in?
"The calories in alcohol are a concern because people may forget about them," said Moyer for Vox. "We’re used to seeing calories on nutrition facts labels for almost any food package, but when you pick up an alcoholic drink, that information just isn’t there."
Most 12-ounce cans of light beer have about 100 calories. Others, which are just fairly light, have about 150 calories. A lot of Belgian brews, IPAs, and stouts get to huge calorie levels, 200 to 300.
Mixed drinks are loaded with sugar
A lot of the mixed drinks are full of sugar because of the juice, tonic water, or mixer and they’re often sweetened with high-fructose-corn-syrup. Some of them reach 350 calories, while others can take you up to 700 if you can believe that. Unfortunately, we can.
Not to mention that the energy they give you is not as filling as solid foods, so you will still want to eat a lot after having one of these drinks.
Wines have more calories than beer
According to CSPI data, most 6-ounce glasses of red or white wine have about 150 calories. Even though red wine is said to be incredibly healthy for you, that’s still a lot. And most of us have multiple glasses for dinner or when we go out. But this is your average glass of wine. There are sweeter varieties that are on trend right now, like Moscato.
How do you know to not up your calorie intake too much? There is a clue when it comes to alcohol content. The larger the percentage of alcohol, the bigger the number of calories in the drink you’re thinking of having. And the sweeter the drink, the more calories as well. Like for anything, the idea here is to drink in moderation, if you’re concerned about your calorie intake.