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Alcohol Carbohydrates

Does alcohol contain carbohydrates and in what amount?
(November 10, 2010)

Alcohol Carbohydrates

Alcohol does contain carbohydrates but in lesser amounts. There are no benefits to be gained from the carbohydrates in alcohol.  Empty calories are what one gets from alcohol. The carbohydrates in alcohol depend on the kind of alcohol you are drinking. Different alcoholic drinks contain different amounts of alcohol content. It is therefore essential to make note of the carbohydrates in the alcohol you are drinking.

If you are drinking alcohol (frequently) that has a high amount of carbohydrates then it can be hazardous for your health. The amount of carbohydrates also depends on the mixers one puts into a drink.  When alcohol enters the digestive system, it breaks into two compounds – acetate and fat. The fat goes into the bloodstream and is stored wherever the body tends to deposit fat. The acetate goes into the bloodstream too and is used as the body’s primary energy fuel. This means that instead of the body burning carbohydrates, or fat or protein as fuel, the body relies on acetate for energy. It does not burn anything else. The result is that the body now has a surplus of fat, protein and carbohydrate circulating in it and this is then covered to fat and in most cases, deposited around a person’s waist. Alcohol drinks have lesser carbohydrates as compared to non alcoholic drinks. As mentioned above, the fat breakdown slows down and this leads to weight gain. Alcohol, instead of being stored as fat is turned into acetate in the body. After drinking, levels of acetate in the body can double or even triple. Consumption of alcohol thus makes the body stop burning fat and makes the body deal with processing the acetate.

An ounce of whiskey, gin, rum or vodka has about 65 calories but no carbohydrates. On the other hand, sweet wines and sweeter liquor has more carbohydrates and even more calories. Wines can have up to 150-200 calories.

It is advisable to drink alcohol that is low in carbohydrates. Stay away from regular beers as they are packed with carbohydrates. Light beers have about 100 calories and 3-5 grams of carbohydrates. Stick to dry wines (either red or white). Avoid the sweet ones. Choose alcoholic drinks that have a low carbohydrate label on them. Mix vodka, rum or gin with diet cola, lime juice, club soda instead of sweet and sour. The latter will give you a strong combination of carbohydrates and alcohol. Other low carbohydrate alcohol drinks include Tequila, Brandy, Bourbon, and Cognac among others.

Submitted by A M on November 10, 2010 at 04:03


Alcohol and Carbohydrates

There exists no benefit from the carbohydrates in alcohol. Alcohol contributes to 'empty calories'. This refers to the contribution of calories and no other essential nutrient. Alcoholic drinks comprise of lesser carbohydrates, in comparison to non alcoholic drinks. Alcohol is not a carbohydrate and is processed initially, prior to carbohydrate, fat and protein. Fat breakdown is slowed down, thereby resulting in weight gain. Carbohydrates are absent in hard liquor, as it is distilled. Wine is made from grapes and thus, wherein the sugars are converted into alcohol. Around 5 grams of carbohydrates are present in 5 ounce of wine. Low carbohydrate beers are available. Low carbohydrate implies low calorie, and thereby helps in losing weight. But, this is the case in healthy foods and not in beer, alcohol or wine. Low carbohydrate beers or wine for weight loss is a gimmick and is not recommended.

A list of them with their carbohydrate contents are given below:

Twelve fluid ounce of beer contains 13 grams of carbohydrates.

3.5 fl oz of red wine- 1.75 grams

1 pint cider- 15 grams

15 ml of whisky- traces of carbohydrates

2 fl oz of port- 6 grams

100ml of champagne- 3.7 grams

12 fl oz of light beer- 4.5 grams
Submitted by E L on April 18, 2008 at 10:49


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