The silly season is officially here! And with it, comes year-end functions and holidays that bring extra socializing and the inevitable opportunity to over-indulge in alcohol. It’s no secret that the consumption of alcohol has a negative affect on health and can be highly detrimental to a kilojoule-controlled diet, particularly when trying to lose weight. The American Heart Association recommends that the term”moderation” when referring to alcohol, equates to 1 to 2 alcoholic drinks for men and 1 drink per day for women.
DID YOU KNOW? 1 gram of alcohol contains approximately 29.3 kJ of energy and as such, one standard drink provides an average of 600kJ per drink. To put this into context, in kilojoule terms, that is the equivalent in energy of 2 slices of bread per drink!
How many kilojoules are in your drink?
It’s what everyone wants to know – which alcoholic drinks are the best and worst?
Beer Belly Busters
It’s all in the mixer! The illustration below shows the kilojoule content of popular cocktails (based on standard recipes but this may vary according to what ingredients and portion sizes are used):
To reduce your kilojoules further try these nifty low-kilojoule substitutes:
- Vodka Cranberry – Instead of using a full cup of cranberry juice, use just a splash of it and dilute with soda water and a squeeze of lime juice
- Peach Bellini – Order a glass of Prosecco and ask for a slice of peach to infuse
- Mojito – Try using a low-calorie lime cordial instead of sugar as this will add the sweetness and flavour without the calories
- Gin & Tonic – Substitute the normal tonic water to sugar free tonic water (found at Woolworths) OR try a drink called Gin Rickey- that is gin, soda and half of a lime freshly squeezed
Tips to control your kilojoules when drinking alcoholic beverages:
- Start your evening with a low-calorie soft drink or a tall glass of water with lemon – never quench your thirst with alcohol!
- Substitute some alcoholic drinks for non alcoholic drinks such as Low calorie squashes with soda water, sparkling water or adding fresh mint and lime to your drink
- Choose drinks which have a lower alcohol percentage and/ or lower calorie drinks
- Reduce volumes of alcohol by using smaller glasses and adding lots of ice to drinks
The average glass of red or white wine contains the below amount of kilojoules:
The smart wine drinkers guide:
- Avoid wine coolers as they contain added sugar
- Port and dessert wine are extremely high in sugar and therefore very high in energy
- Be conscious of the size of your wine glass as some are the size of large goblets, a 750ml bottle of wine fills less than half the bowl, so try to stick to smaller glasses.
- A wine spritzer cuts the kilojoules in half so mix half dry wine and half soda water over ice which will roughly equate to 223kJ, a reduction of almost 50%!
- Read the label and look for wines with a lower alcohol percentage