Dispelling nutrition myths, ranting, and occasionally, raving

The true weight of alcohol

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As much as I love fitocracy I was annoyed when they tweeted the link to this blog post: 20 Nutrition Myths I Used to Believe Were True. Come on fito! Couldn’t you tweet a link to an article posted by someone with some sort of credibility and nutrition education? I know that there are lots of dietitians using your site and app and following you on twitter. Why tweet a post by someone who has just managed to lose weight? Sure, some of what he has to say is true but not all of it and just because it worked for him doesn’t mean it’s going to work for everyone.

I’m not going to go through all 20 “myths” because that’s way too much work. And as I mentioned, there is a bit of truth in there. Unfortunately, it just had to be the first one that pissed me off the most. The myth: Alcohol makes you fat. According to the author this is untrue because alcohol is absorbed first over other nutrients and “if your macronutrient for your drinking day is almost purely protein and you keep pounding shots of tequila (not chugging beer or cocktails), then you will not gain that much fat at all”. Huh? Yes, alcohol is more readily absorbed than other nutrients. That doesn’t mean that you won’t gain weight if you eat your poutine and pizza or whatever after you’ve been out drinking.

Alcohol itself has more calories (about 7) per gram than carbs and protein (both about 4). Just having two glasses of wine a night can lead to about 30 pounds of weight gain in a year. Unless your exercising lots to compensate for those calories, you will gain weight. Also, alcohol tends to reduce your inhibition and cloud your judgement. You’re much more likely to over eat after consuming a few glasses of alcohol than you are in a sober state.

I’m also sorry to report that alcohol does not contain all of the nutrients that your body needs. You can’t just replace food with booze. Did you know that alcoholics are actually the group most likely to be at risk of nutrient deficiencies? This is for two reasons: 1. alcohol interferes with the absorption of many essential nutrients, 2. alcohol often displaces nutritious foods.

Author: Diana

I'm a registered dietitian from Nova Scotia, living and working in Ontario, Canada. My goal is to help people see food and nutrition from a different perspective and understand that nutrition and health are not necessarily a result of personal choice.

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