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Are alcohol calories any different than other food calories in terms of weight management goals?

Are alcohol calories any different than other food calories in terms of weight management goals?

By Deepa Agarwal  on: 11 February 2017
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Q: Are alcohol calories any different than other food calories in terms of weight management goals? 


A: A calorie is a calorie is a calorie. It doesn't matter what its source.
But also not so much. Alcohol is ultimately a poison, and upon its ingestion your body's number one priority becomes GET IT OUT (this becomes more urgent as alcohol levels increase, which is why vomiting and diarrhoea can both follow or occur during a night of drinking).

It's common knowledge that our poor livers get the worst of it, but not many people understand the roles the liver plays in helping our bodies regulate our immune systems, blood glucose levels, and helping decide what nutrients to use break down now vs what needs to get stored for later. Because alcohol sort of hijacks liver functions, the liver doesn't do as good a job at signalling when to draw on adipose tissue for energy and keeping blood-glucose levels where they should be. Alcohol can also damage pretty much every part of the GI tract with which it comes in contact, which can leading to nutrient absorption issues. 

There are 7 calories per gram of alcohol, which makes it more calorically dense than a gram of either carbs or protein (4kcal/g). Then add the calories from the simple sugars that typically saturate alcoholic drinks, and you're basically drinking the caloric equivalent of a whole meal (assuming you're having a couple of drinks). As far as weight management goes, that will certainly throw off your daily calorie goals if you don't "budget" those extra calories in.


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As a child growing up in Siliguri, a small town in the North Eastern part of India, I was taught by my father, a great humanitarian, the importance of dedicating one's life to serving people and knew from a young age that my passion was to heal the sick and become a successful health care professional. Yet, I desired to become a Clinical Nutritionist with determination and commitment. After graduating from Osmania University, Hyderabad, I sought further education at Sri Ramachandra Medical College, Chennai, for the only reason that this was the only medical institution then providing a full fledged Masters program in Clinical Nutrition with superior clinical training and exposure. Clinical Nutritionist plays a vital role in providing Optimal Medical Nutrition Therapy for the plethora of diseases inherent in both adults and pediatrics which is very satisfying. An achievement starts with a desire, and takes one on a long journey. Mario Andretti once said,Desire is the key to motivation, but it's the determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal - a commitment to excellence - that will enable you to attain the success you seek. Setting out on mine, I graduated from Osmania University, where my passion and drive for Clinical nutrition was nurtured and I was awarded the Best out going student as well as the best academic performance award. To this end, I then completed my Masters program. At Sri Ramachandra Medical College I got familiarized with the healthcare system by working one-on-one with clinicians as well as with patients, thus broadening my clinical knowledge.In order to stay current with the fields advancements, I attended International, National and Regional Conferences, Workshops and Symposiums. Next milestone in my career was registering for PhD at Sri Ramachandra Medical College. During my PhD tenure I was exposed to the research field. Publications in various peer reviewed indexed International and National journals is a reflection of my academic achievement. Collectively experiences of rigor, self-discipline and dedication, have given me tremendous insight into what to expect during my training. My passion for Nutrition also extends to volunteerism: I have actively involved in conducting community programs emphasizing on optimal nutrition from pediatrics to geriatrics. Dr Deepa Agarwal is one of the best dietician/ Nutritionist in Hyderabad. Famous for weight loss consultations.
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