Nutritive Value of Alcohol
Alcoholic beverages contain mainly water, ethanol and various amounts of carbohydrates. They have very negligible amounts of proteins, vitamins or minerals.
In some countries it is common practice to consume alcohol with the everyday meals. Beer made during early days, was in fact highly nutritional and was considered a good option in place of bread or grain as it could be stored for longer period of time.
Alcohol is generally quite high in calories as one gram of pure alcohol provides approximately 7.1 kilocalories per gram compared to 4 kilocalories per gram of carbohydrate. Addition of carbohydrate can increase the calorie value of alcoholic drinks.
The calories obtained from alcohol are generally termed as empty calories as no alcoholic beverage contains any vital nutrient in amounts that make a significant contribution to the diet.
Wine contains phytochemicals (resvesterol), which reduce the risk of heart diseases and certain cancers hence drinking wine in moderation could help in preventing some of these major disorders.
However excessive consumption of alcohol depletes the body of vital Vitamins of the B complex group and Vitamin C. It is very important for those who consume alcohol to have a balanced diet.
- Thomas DB, Alcohol as a cause of cancer.The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington, USA. Environ Health Perspect. 1995 November; 103(Suppl 8): 153–160.
- This History of Alcohol - (http://www.drug-rehabs.org/alcoholhistory.php)