Today we still find ourselves prey to the media and marketing gurus. Come on do you really believe everything we see in the magazines or on TV? Obviously we do. We find for the sake of pleasure convincing our self that red wine is good for us, our beer is low in calories and our liquors are low glycemic.
So do you really want the truth? Contrary to popular belief, no matter how you look at it, or what spin you try to put on it alcohol is a drug.
What is alcohol?
Alcohol is the name given to a variety of related compounds; the drinkable form is ethanol, or ethyl alcohol. It is a powerful, addictive, central nervous system depressant produced by the action of yeast cells on carbohydrates in fruits and grains.
There are three basic types of alcoholic drinks.
Beer is made from fermented grains and has an alcohol content of three to six percent.
Wine is made from fermented fruits and has an alcohol content of 11 to 14 percent. Some wine drinks, such as wine coolers, have fruit juice and sugar added, lowering alcohol content to between four and seven percent. Fortified wines, such as port, have alcohol added, bringing alcohol content to between 18 and 20 percent.
Liquor is made by distilling a fermented product to yield a drink that usually contains 40 to 50 percent alcohol. The alcohol content in liquor is sometimes indicated by degrees of proof, which in the United States is a figure twice as high as the percentage. Thus, 80-proof liquor is 40 percent alcohol.
When alcohol is consumed it needs no digesting and is quickly absorbed. Approximate 20% is absorbed in the stomach lining and reaches the brain in less then a minute. When you have a full stomach it slows down in which that rate the alcohol affects the body, even though this is delayed make no mistake alcohol will influence the brain.
How does it affect my weight?
Where did that Beer Belly come from? The thought of alcohol calories taken in were stored as fat, but really the main effect of alcohol is that it reduces the amount of fat your body burns for energy.
A small portion of the alcohol is converted into fat. Your liver then converts most of the alcohol into acetate. The acetate is then released into your bloodstream, and replaces fat as a source of fuel.
NOTE: Your body uses what you feed it and when you consume alcohol your acetate levels rise and replaces that fat that you would like to burn.
NOTE: Alcohol is non-nutritious and displaces the nutrients in your diet, possibly leading to a protein deficiency. Alcohol is dehydrating and can lead to important mineral loss.
The combination of alcohol and a high-calorie meal is especially fattening, mainly because alcohol acts as a potent appetite stimulator. There was Canadian study that an aperitif (an alcoholic drink taken before a meal to increase the appetite) increased calorie intake to a greater extent than a carbohydrate-based drink.
While a drink now and again isn't going to hurt, the bottom line is that alcohol and a leaner, stronger body just doesn't exist.
How does your alcohol add up?
Total Calories Carb Calorie Alcohol Calorie
12oz. Beer 150 50 100
7oz. Red Wine 100 24 76
1.5oz. Whiskey 95 -- 95
7oz. White Wine 160 30 130
Prepared by© Lydia Martinez