Alcohol and Calories

The article below was written by Jennifer Warner and published on WebMD.

WebMD Health News

Nov. 15, 2012 — Alcoholic drinks contribute about 100 calories a day to the average American’s diet.

But wine, liquor, and especially beer may add much more to the daily calorie count for younger adults and men.

A new study shows that on any given day, people who drink alcohol get about 16% of their total calories from alcoholic drinks.

Alcohol’s calories come mainly from sugar. Federal dietary guidelines recommend no more than 5% to 15% of total calories come from solid fats or added sugars at any calorie intake level. Because alcohol is considered a source of added sugar, the results show the average American’s 16% of daily calories from alcohol puts them over the recommended 15% limit.

The calories in one serving of alcohol (not including mixers) range from about 100 to 150 calories. For example:

  • One 12-ounce beer is about 150 calories.
  • One 5-ounce glass of wine is about 120 calories.
  • 1.5 ounces or a shot of liquor contains about 100 calories.

Alcohol Contributes Calories

The report is based on survey data from adults over age 20 who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2007 to 2010.

Researchers looked at the number of calories drunk by adults in the last 24 hours from beer, wine, liquor, or mixed drinks.

Among the findings:

  • Men get about 150 calories per day from alcohol compared with about 50 calories for women.
  • Young men aged 20 to 29 got the most calories from alcohol, about 174 per day, compared with other groups.
  • Women over age 60 took in the fewest alcohol calories at an average of 33 calories per day.
  • Men drank more beer than other types of alcohol. Beer accounted for 103 of the 150 alcohol calories drunk per day by men.
  • Among women, beer, wine and liquor contributed nearly equally to the daily alcohol calories count.

Researchers found the average calorie count from alcoholic drinks did not differ by race or ethnicity. But women with higher incomes drank more than those with lower incomes.

Federal dietary guidelines recommend that if you drink, it should be done in moderation — one drink per day for women and two for men.

Researchers say the results show that across the total population, most men and women fall within these guidelines. But 19% of men and 12% of women exceed them.

Jedi and Sith Carbs

So what’s the deal with this “Good Carb” and “Bad Carb”?  Is it like the Jedi and the Sith…so similar and yet so different in their use of the force???

Refined and Processed Carbs are the Sith Warrior

Carbs with Fiber have balance, like the Jedi!

OK OK I know what you’re thinking; What the hell is this girl smoking???? But before you call the local sanitarium let me finish.  We have two totally different groups right, one considered “bad guys” and one “good guys” because every saga needs both sides.

Our story starts a bit differently, with the Jedi coming first (actual Star Wars history has the Sith exist before the order of the Jed’aii but that’s another story)…we originally didn’t have the opportunity for refined sugars and carbs, processing food.  It was all what was found and harvested from animals.  The carbohydrate industry (if you want to call it that) was when the nomadic tribes began planting grain and staying where they were, effectively beginning the process of developing civilization (could be wrong on my history, it’s a little fuzzy).  And thus began the rise of the Sith.

The further along industry went, the more powerful the “Sith” became, until it was Lord of the Siths and a strong opponent against the Jedi (remember Jedi = natural carbs & Sith = refined/processed).  Until now, the Sith seems to have the upper hand (see Kraft or any other refined grain product/McDonalds buns etc.).  What sprouted their most recent rise?  Believe it or not, the depression.  In 1937 Kraft was able to create a dinner for a family of 4…in 9 minutes without breaking the bank, and pushed the industry of refined grains into a fever pitch.  The steamroller effect was in full swing until recently when low carb started fighting back.

Now the Jedi is here and ready to rumble!  I am a Jedi…haha I like that.  I am a Jedi Warrior and I will kick the crap out of the Sith Lord! Muhaha!  But back to the carbs, which ones are good?  plant foods that deliver fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals along with grams of carbohydrate, such as whole grains, beans, vegetables, and fruits. You can’t judge a carb as “good” without considering its fiber content (unless it’s a naturally low-fiber food like skim or low-fat milk).  So why does Fiber Matter?  You can’t actually digest fiber, did you know that? (Ever wonder why the ending result from too much fiber is too much…well ya know…)  Fiber helps slow down how fast your body absorbs nutrients, including those from veggies etc. , which includes, you called it, carbohydrates.  If your body absorbs the carbohydrates slower, your glucose level will remain more steady and will slowly increase, rather than spike.  The general rule is that the whiter the bread, the less fiber there is in it.  Now you might wonder “Isn’t it cheaper to just leave the fiber in?” The answer is NOPE!  It’s cheaper to manufacture the bleached flower and roll out them loafs rather than using the whole grain equivalent.  Why is it cheaper?  Because the refined products actually only use one part of the grain (there are 3 parts of the grain), and the whole grain equivalent has to process that WHOLE piece of grain, such a workout already!

So how do you tell the difference between whole grain bread and bleached bread?  Easy! You look at the color…NOT!! It’s true that bread companies have wised up, there is now a coloring additive, caramel coloring (same as used in Coca Cola) to give certain white breads the “look” of wheat, without any of the actual nutritional perks.  Instead, check the ingredients list, Whole Grain should be #1 on that puppy.

So who wins the battle between the Sith and the Jedi?  I hope the Jedi, but the Sith can roll out 3 ships for every one that the Jedi can (healthy is a bit more expensive than unhealthy) so we just have to hope the Jedi’s Ship is more epic and can crush those 3 Sith Ships…

A Quick note and a few links:

America’s obesity is on the rise,  The History of Obesity changed along with the food industry, and more recently, with the technological industry.

Atkins and Ideal Protein – What’s the difference?

Alright, so today I’m looking at the difference between Atkins and Ideal Protein.  Why is this you may ask?  Well, it’s because I’m using a hybrid between the two, to prevent some of the less comfortable side effects of Ideal Protein.

Let’s start with the similarities…Atkins has an A,T,I,N , so does Ideal Protein…no that’s not where the similarities stop, but wouldn’t it be funny if it was?  Both diets are considered ketogenic diets, as in, Ketosis, that fun little 7 letter word which means your body learns to burn its own fat stores rather than rely on carbohydrates.  Secondly, both diets severely restrict carbohydrate intake to force the body into the state of Ketosis; Atkins around 20g of carbs-40g of carbs per day, and Ideal Protein in the same “general” ball park.  OK so they’re similar in that.  Neither allow fruits or various dairy products (Ideal Protein moreso on restricting dairy to 1 oz skim milk/day).  Oh, AND think about how much protein is consumed; on Ideal Protein, it’s packets, shakes or bars, and roughly 60g+ per day, Atkins is using either shakes or bars, although the recommended amount can vary.  Finally, both diets accept that you are taking in less nutrients than what your body needs, so you need vitamins to balance out the deficit.  Oh, and let’s not forget that both are considered EXTREMELY controversial in some circles.

“Gail Frank, PhD, former spokeswoman for the organization and professor of nutrition at California State University in Long Beach, says, “The body needs a minimum of carbohydrates for efficient and healthy functioning — about 150 grams daily.” Below that, normal metabolic activity is disrupted.”

From – “The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends that you get about 50 to 55 percent of your daily calories from carbohydrates. Of the remainder, you should get about 25 to 30 percent from fat and 15 to 20 percent from protein. If you consume 2,200 calories per day, that means you’ll need to get between 1,100 and 1,210 calories each day — or 275 to 302 g per day — from carbohydrates.”

Unfortunately, that is where these diets’ similarities end.  Atkins allows for fatty foods, such as butter, cheese, mayo etc. while Ideal Protein promotes virtually not fat to go along with that side of no carb.  Atkins doesn’t promote vegetable intake like Ideal Protein does.

So what am I doing?  I’m taking a bit from both book.  I’m eating more fat than Ideal Protein recommends.  If I have a bit of cheese I’m not going to walk the plank.  I don’t measure my olive oil when I’m cooking, I’ll even cook with butter (how about them apples?!?) or melt it over my veggies.  I DO eat the 4 cups of veggies/day recommended by Ideal Protein, and have my salt intake every day to ensure good blood pressure is maintained.  Why am I doing this?  Because I feel each diet has some specific qualities that I like, such as both are very straight forward, and have little room for “error” or “fudging” the facts.  Also, they only differ in my diet with the fat intake.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t eat cheese unless it’s on a burger (which is wrapped in lettuce) or is melted on my broccoli, I don’t drink milk at all (I use a ready to drink shake in my morning coffee for extra protein), I eat no fruits whatsoever (wait, that’s hardly a change from the last 10 years of my life!), and now I can’t help but count calories or carbs and compare with protein with all my possible foodlings that I’ll consume.

Calories, Carbs, Fat and weightloss … hmmm

So here is a second post in a single day, I feel like I’m overtaxing my poor brain, but this was just hijacked off of my other blog, so aside from the intro, it’s all the same.

One video stated that when you do aerobic exercise (meaning With air, you can breath mostly normally while doing this) you burn FAT first, and CARBS later (1-2 days later actually) and if you do anaerobic exercise (meaning Without air, like heavy lifting and sprinting so you’re gasping), you burn CARBS first, and FAT later.  Fat is like the savings account, it’s there, you can tap into when things get a little tight, but you don’t really “need” it right away.  Carbs are like checking, you hit that puppy up any time there is a sale at Macy’s.  Carbs are what provide the short term burst energy that keep us going when we suddenly start exerting ourselves, whereas fat is more conducive to a leisurely pace.  I walk, so I burn FAT more than CARBS.  You don’t just burn one or the other, it’s always a mix.

Today I learned that:

1 gram of carbohydrates = 4 calories

1 gram of fat = 9 calories

And I already knew that:

3500 calories = 1 pound


875 grams of carbohydrates = 1 pound

388 grams of fat = 1 pound

That’s a lot of things to burn, just saying, talkin’ 388 grams of fat? I don’t think I eat that much in a week, the carb thing though, that is making more sense with this Ideal Protein diet now (average carb consumption somewhere between 200-400g / day, we cut back to around 30g, you’re looking at a net loss of 170-370g / day, times 7 days, you’re looking at a minimum of 1 pound / week)

So today I walked, and will be mowing my lawn, for a total calorie loss of roughly 315 (maybe a bit more, maybe a bit less).  I took 315 and split it into a 70/30 (70% fat burned, 30% carbs burned, again, I was walking)  I know, math sucks, but in this case, it’s interesting.  So I “theoretically” burned about 24.5 grams of fat off today and 23 grams of carbohydrates off today.  I’m hoping that’s a start for getting caught up to yesterday’s “oops”