How’s your vodka and soda? Helping you feel healthy by minimising the damage on your big night out? … well I hate to be a party pooper but if your strategy for watching your calories is to go white spirits and cut the beer “because it has so many carbs”, then you’re a bit misguided.
You see, pure alcohol, which makes up 80% of that vodka shot (and 4.5% of that bottle of beer) has its own calorie content quite separate to the presence of any carbs (sugar) in your drink. One gram of pure alcohol has 7 calories, so one standard drink – 10 grams of alcohol – regardless of whether it’s a beer, wine or spirits, has 70 calories just from alcohol.
Alcohol is as calorie dense as pure fat (in terms of calories per gram), so a standard drink is equivalent to 2.5 teaspoons of lard. If you’re a carb-o-phobe then that calorie content is the equivalent to nearly 4.5 teaspoons of sugar – imagine getting a few of those down in a night!
So don’t kid yourself if you’re watching your calories. Carbs are not the reason why beer bellies form; drinking excessively is. Granted, beer has carbs in addition to the alcohol, but the calorie content of almost anything you buy at the bar is mostly due to the alcohol.