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Alcohol




  1. Where can I find a dietitian who works with alcoholism? Answer
  2. Do you have a list of foods that may contain alcohol? Answer
  3. Brandy has its distinct flavor due to an ester. Answer
  4. I need to know out of all the alcohol drunk what percent of it is beer? Answer
  5. Should I drink Guinness beer because in Britain they say it is good for you (lots of vitamins, minerals)? Answer
  6. How can brandy taste so sweet and not have any carbohydrates? Answer
  7. How many calories does the average alcoholic beverage have? Answer
  8. Can a person with diabetes drink alcohol? Answer
  9. When I put alcohol in a recipe, does it all cook off? Answer


Where can I find a dietitian who works with alcoholism?

The Behavioral Health Nutrition dietetic practice group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics specializes in working with patients who have an alcohol addiction. You can find a dietitian at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Include your zip code or city / state, the type of service you want and area of expertise.


I teach nutrition in Missouri and also teach in our local chemical dependency unit at the local hospital. I am trying to find a list of foods that contain alcohol, but have had no luck. Do you have a list of foods that may contain alcohol?

I've been compiling my own list, but know I must be missing a bunch. Would love to hear from you! Thanks!

Other than the obvious beer, hard cider, wine, distilled spirits and liqueurs, I do not have a definitive list of foods with alcohol. So many new food products are launched in the U.S. grocery market every year that I would be hesitant to provide a complete list. I would encourage your chemical dependency residents to read food labels on the foods they buy because typical sources of alcohol listed above do not have Nutrition Facts labels at this time. I would also caution them to read the labels on over the counter mouthwash and liquid cough medications which often contain alcohol.

The most obvious source of alcohol in food products are flavor extracts used in cooking. Real vanilla extract is made by placing split vanilla beans from orchids in a solution of 35% alcohol (minimum required by FDA) for at least 1 year to extract the flavor. Imitation vanilla extract is a byproduct of making paper pulp from wood and is often used in baked or cooked products to retain the vanilla flavor. Flavor extracts such as real vanilla extract in recipes that are heated mostly vaporizes the alcohol into the air, but is dependent on time and temperature. See table below. Vanilla extract in foods that are not cooked with heat will contain alcohol especially if the food is kept in a closed container.


Brandy has its distinct flavor due to an ester. Low molecular weight esters are present in fruits, such as pineapples, pears, bananas, apricots, grapes and oranges. They are also present in cognac, in the form of ethyl nonanoate (ethyl oenanthate). These esters give them their distinctive flavors. The flavor of brandy is imparted by this ester, which should answer the question on your alcohol page. Could this lead to a line of "cognac candies"? Who knows.

It's pretty much exactly what came from my textbooks. As for the various types of brandies, I couldn't help you. My background is pharmacological.

Thanks for your info. Do you have a reference with more info on the flavor of brandies?



I think your website is excellent. I need to know out of all the alcohol drunk, what percent of it is beer?

A 2013 Gallup poll found that 60% of Americans drink alcohol occasionally and 36% was beer, 35% wine, 23% distilled liquor. Beer consumption has been dropping since 1992. Men are more likely to drink beer and women more likely to drink wine which would be expected.

Thanks for your comments.


My mother is British and she claims that if I am drinking, I should drink Guinness beer because in Britain they say it is good for you (lots of vitamins, minerals). Is this true?

I've been looking for the full nutritional breakdown of Guinness beer but can't find one. Can you help?

The taste of Guinness is a combination of water which comes from the Wicklow Mountains just outside Dublin Ireland and ingredients. There are about 50 Guinness breweries around the world, including Australia, but none in the U.S. There are about 20 varieties of Guinness so the nutritional analysis will vary depending on the ingredients.

Guinness contains roasted, malted barley (Irish), hops, yeast and water. According to Guinness, a pint (16 ounces) has 210 calories and 12 ounces of beer about 170 calories. They say that Guinness has some vitamins and minerals, but they don't publish any nutrient values. The alcohol content is closer to 3.2% beer.

The current recommendations for moderate alcohol intake are 1 drink per day for women and 2 drinks per day for men. One drink is described as 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1 1/2 ounces of distilled liquor.


I have a question regarding brandy (liquor). How can brandy taste so sweet and not have any carbohydrates? Also, where do the calories come from, if brandy does not have any protein, carbohydrates or fat? Thanks.

Brandy is made from distilled wine or fermented fruit juice and is aged in a barrel. Even though there is carbohydrates in wine or fruit juice, it is turned into alcohol during the distillation process. FYI, cognac is the finest grade of brandy. Specific nutrient values for brandy are not available in nutrient databases.

Generally, 1 jigger (1 1/2 ounces) of 80 proof liquor (40% alcohol in gin, rum, vodka and whiskey) has:
  • 97 calories
  • 0 gm protein
  • 0 gm fat
  • 0 gm carbohydrate
  • 14 grams alcohol
In a coffee liqueur like Kahlua (53 proof or 26.5% alcohol), 1 jigger (1 1/2 ounces) has:
  • 170 calories
  • 0 gm protein
  • 0 gm fat
  • 24 gm carbohydrate
  • 11 gm alcohol
The calories in alcoholic beverages come from alcohol, which contributes 7 calories per gram as opposed to 4 calories per gram for protein and carbohydrate and 9 calories per gram for fat. So if you take 7 calories per gram times approximately 14 grams of alcohol per jigger (1 1/2 ounces), this equals 98 calories. If the alcoholic beverage such as a liqueur also contains carbohydrate (like Kahlua), then the calories for this beverage will be higher.


I have a question regarding alcohol, calories and weight gain. How many calories does the average alcoholic beverage have? And, is it typical for drinkers (depending on amount) to gain or lose weight? Thanks so much.

Alcohol has been found to stimulate the appetite and one drink before meals has been prescribed for adults with a poor appetite. So in a person who already has a good appetite, alcohol will add additional calories which can lead to weight gain.

  • 12 ounces beer = 153 calories and 13.9 grams alcohol
  • 12 ounces lite beer = 103 calories and 11 grams alcohol
  • 5 ounces wine (red) = 125 calories and 15.6 grams alcohol
  • 5 ounces wine (white) = 121 calories and 15.1 grams alcohol
  • 3 ounces sake = 117 calories and 14.1 grams alcohol
  • 1 1/2 ounces liquor (80 proof or 40% alcohol) = 97 calories and 14 grams alcohol
    • add 6 ounces carbonated beverage mix to 1 1/2 ounces liquor and the calories and carbohydrates increase:
      • cola 68 calories and 18 grams carbohydrate
      • lemon-lime 74 calories and 19 grams carbohydrate


In 2012, Gallup found Americans average 4 alcohol drinks per week which can add up to at least 500 to 612 (beer) calories a week depending on what a person drinks. All it takes is 500 calories a day to gain 1 pound sin a week. So a person who drinks 4 drinks a week could gain 1 pound every 7 weeks or 7.5 pounds a year. Research shows that abdominal weight gain increases with frequent use of alcohol. If people limit their intake of alcohol, it would help with weight loss. However, people who consume large amounts of alcohol and little food usually lose weight and have liver disease (cirrhosis) or protein calorie malnutrition.


We are updating our information on diet and have the following information on our web page. We would very much appreciate your reviewing this information for accuracy. We would also like to add a link from our site to yours.

Beverages containing alcohol are converted into fat and are high in calories. People with diabetes should drink alcoholic beverages sparingly. If you are a Type I (Insulin dependent) diabetic or Type II (non-insulin dependent) diabetic and taking an oral medication, NEVER DRINK ON AN EMPTY STOMACH. Alcoholic beverages can rapidly lower the blood sugar, causing insulin reactions especially in Type 1. If a person chooses to drink, always drink an alcoholic beverage with food. A glass of wine or beer with a meal can be figured into your daily eating plan. Consult your registered dietitian or doctor for the proper way to include alcoholic beverages into your eating plan.

Thanks for link. You may also want to link to the diabetes. I would suggest adding or editing the following information to what you have.

People with diabetes should only drink alcohol if their diabetes is in good control which means an A1C less than 6.5. Men should limit their alcohol intake to less than 2 drinks per week, women 1 drink per week. One drink is measured as 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1 1/2 ounces of distilled liquors. Each alcohol serving contributes around 100 to 160 calories which should be deducted from your calorie total for that day. Avoid sweet liqueurs or mixes like carbonated beverages containing sugar.

The symptoms of hypoglycemia and intoxication are similar (thick tongue speech, shaking, staggering walk, mental confusion etc.). People may confuse these symptoms and ignore or delay treatment of diabetic insulin reactions. I recommend people with diabetes carry or wear something that indicates they have diabetes and the name and dosage of the medication they currently take (insulin or pills).

People with Type II diabetes produce insulin though it may be insufficient or ineffective due to problems with cell insulin receptors. Whereas, people with Type I diabetes do not make any insulin and are dependent on injected insulin.


When I put alcohol in a recipe, does it all cook off? Should I be concerned with how much alcohol is left?

Alcohol added to a recipe may cook off, but it depends on how long you cooking it. People with alcoholism should be concerned with how much alcohol is left which will be inconsistent with a sober lifestyle. Rena Cultrufelli of the USDA prepared the following table of alcohol content in cooked foods. You can compare your recipe directions to the table below to determine how much alcohol is left.

Preparation Method Percent Retained
Alcohol added to boiling liquid & removed from heat 85%
Flame 75%
No heat; stored overnight 70%
Baked, 25 minutes, alcohol not stirred into mixture 45%
Baked/simmered, alcohol stirred into mixture:
15 minutes 40%
30 minutes 35%
1 hour 25%
1.5 hours 20%
2 hours 10%
2.5 hours 5%






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