We all know that the dangers in drinking lie in how much and how often we consume. Generally, for people who aren’t already struggling with an alcohol use disorder, one drink a day is perfectly safe, and according to some studies is even good for your health. But does the type of alcohol you’re drinking make a difference? It turns out that some varieties of alcohol are worse for your health than others.
If you’re concerned with losing or maintaining weight, the amount of sugar in your drink is one big problem. If you’re a fan of mixed cocktails, the following information might send you running for the gym. One serving of a pina colada has 315 calories and 63 grams of sugar, which is almost 16 teaspoons. Imagine piling 16 teaspoons of sugar into a cup of coffee or tea – it sounds absurd, right? A serving of whiskey sours has 339 calories and 29 grams of sugar. For reference, the American Heart Association recommends that men consume less than 37.5 grams of sugar per day, and women should limit themselves to 25 grams.
The healthiest drink is wine, particularly of the red variety. Studies have shown that wine can help to reduce type II diabetes, lower the risk of heart disease, and even help with weight loss. Red table wine and cabernet sauvignon each have only 0.9 grams of sugar per serving. Wine is also lower in carbohydrates than most drinks, and it contains plenty of antioxidants.
When it comes to hard liquor, vodka has the least sugar and carbs, and scotch, rum, and whiskey aren’t bad as long as you don’t mix them with soda or other sugary mixers. Tequila has no carbohydrates at all when you drink it straight. Obviously, you shouldn’t sit around doing shots of straight liquor, especially if you’re prone to addiction. When you aren’t mixing it with anything, the amount of alcohol you’re consuming can add up fast.
Beer can be fairly high calorie. Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA has 450 calories per 12 ounces. A few varieties of Sam Adams are in the 300s. Guinness has fewer calories than many other beers and is actually full of antioxidants and contains some nutrients. Light beer can have as little as 55 calories per serving, but keep in mind that light on calories doesn’t also mean light on alcohol content. You shouldn’t assume that you can safely drink more light beer than regular.
No matter what you drink, do it in moderation. Even if you aren’t watching your weight or sugar consumption, alcohol still has many negative effects on the body. Moderate alcohol use for healthy adults is up to one drink a day for women of all ages and men older than age 65, and up to two drinks a day for men age 65 and younger.
If you or a loved one need help with quitting drugs or alcohol, consider Asana Recovery. We offer medical detox, along with both residential and outpatient programs, and you’ll be supervised by a highly trained staff of medical professionals, counselors, and therapists. Call us any time at (949) 438-4504 to get started.