Most of us try to be healthy, despite the constant temptations of life. One of the best ways we can “count” on to stay healthy is to keep track of how many calories we are consuming. Less calories equals less worry about heart disease, weight problems, diabetes and other diseases, and by being aware of how many calories are in our favorite foods, we can make informed decisions. That also includes the calories in the alcohol we drink.
Our metabolism changes when we ingest alcohol. Alcohol becomes the priority because of its “empty calorie” composition that must be tackled first, before the calories that add inches and pounds to our bodies. So, alcohol slows the rate we digest food, causing more calories to be stored as unhealthy fat. Additionally, there are few alcoholic drinks that have a healthy amount of calories. The calorie content in a shot of liquor, for example, is often minimized by the calories in the mixers used to make cocktails, and many of those cocktails use more than just one shot of tequila, vodka or whiskey to begin with. Your favorite drink could have as many calories as your favorite burger… and how many of those do you consume at a time?
Drunk driving is the result of consuming too much alcohol before driving, and people are often just as unaware of how many drinks lead to a high blood alcohol concentration (BAC) as they are the calorie content in those drinks. That’s why the FDA’s new rule about publishing the calorie content in drinks may help people reconsider having “one for the road” or how much they drink while at a bar or restaurant, entirely. This new rule could impact people’s understanding of alcohol in a healthy sense by reducing calories, with the added benefit of less intoxication and less drunk driving.
The benefits of labeling calories on foods and beverages have helped create healthier lives for everyone, and alcohol should not be different. Understanding how alcohol can not only impact our bodies, but our minds is important, especially when it can be the direct cause of drunk driving, car breathalyzer requirements and other consequences. Perhaps the new menu labels for our favorite drinks will help spare us the extra pounds and the regrets that come from a night of too many cocktails.