March 18, 2010

Alcohol calories

Have you ever wondered how many calories are in your drink?

I have, so I looked it up. An average drink (a beer, a cocktail, a glass of vine) has about 150-180 calories. But there is a catch, alcohol calories make you fat in a different way. I foud tis very interesting article on this site:

Rather than getting stored as fat, the main fate of alcohol is conversion into a substance called acetate. In fact, blood levels of acetate after drinking the vodka were 2.5 times higher than normal. And it appears this sharp rise in acetate puts the brakes on fat loss.

A car engine typically uses only one source of fuel. Your body, on the other hand, draws from a number of different energy sources, such as carbohydrate, fat, and protein. To a certain extent, the source of fuel your body uses is dictated by its availability.

In other words, your body tends to use whatever you feed it. Consequently, when acetate levels rise, your body simply burns more acetate, and less fat. In essence, acetate pushes fat to the back of the queue.

So, to summarize and review, here's what happens to fat metabolism after the odd drink or two.

 - 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.
 - The way your body responds to alcohol is very similar to the way it deals with excess carbohydrate.

Although carbohydrate can be converted directly into fat, one of the main effects of overfeeding with carbohydrate is that it simply replaces fat as a source of energy. That's why any type of diet, whether it's high-fat, high-protein, or high-carbohydrate, can lead to a gain in weight.

There are some solutions:
 - drink less, one or two drinks
 - there are some low calorie drinks, drink blond beer instead of the darker beers, drink low calorie cocktails like Mojito (160 calories) or Bloody Marry (150 calories)

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