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Published on 21 June 2019

Myths and facts about alcoholic beverages


Does the warmer weather make you crave a refreshing alcoholic drink? Of course, I think the arrival of spring makes us want to get out more. As the summer season starts up, I wanted to clarify some myths and facts about alcoholic beverages. It’s time to demystify drinking!


  • It’s best to select a wine with less than 4 g of sugar per litre


FALSE. If you take a look at the amount of residual sugar in the sweetest wines in store, you’ll quickly notice that they contain about 16 g of residual sugar per litre. Since a standard bottle contains 750 mL, this means that if you drink half the bottle, you have actually consumed 6 g of sugar ((0.75% X 16 g)/2). In comparison, an apple contains 19 g of sugar, a glass of orange juice 22 g and a red pepper 5 g. Consuming 6 g of sugar in a half-bottle of wine is therefore completely acceptable. It won’t impact your health or your weight!


Careful: beware of certain rosés which are, in fact, very sweet!


  • Wine has fewer calories than beer


FALSE. For the same serving size, wine contains more calories than beer. However, for a standard serving (5 oz. of wine and 12 oz. of beer) they contain 100 to 120 calories and 70 to 200 calories, respectively. There is a large amount of variability in the nutritional value of beer. To reduce calorie intake, opt for a light beer. Examples include Canadian 67, Michelob Ultra, and Sleeman Clear 2.0. As for wine, remember that the values indicated are for a 5 oz. serving! Are you really drinking this quantity?


  • The alcohol % in a drink has a significant impact on caloric content


TRUE. One gram of alcohol contains 7 calories. The higher the alcohol content, the more calories your beverage contains. Have you ever noticed that light beer always has lower alcohol content?


  • Drinking a glass of wine every day is good for your health


TRUE AND FALSE. In fact, having one glass per day is the amount for which the potential benefits and risks cancel each other out. While there are some benefits to having one glass per day, including the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, some risks actually increase, such as contracting colorectal cancer. Conclusion: The potential benefits are not enough to recommend that person who does not drink should start doing so for health reasons.


  • Drinking a glass of water between each alcoholic beverage helps in managing reasonable alcohol consumption.


TRUE. Not only will this slow you down–you’ll also be hydrated. Goodbye, hangover!


  • Alcohol consumption can lead to weight gain.


TRUE. I’m sure most of you are aware of this. However, I like to explain to clients that in addition to the calories contained in the alcoholic beverage, the average number of calories consumed during the social meal is often greater. Do you dig into the cheese more than usual after an aperitif? Hard to resist dessert after a few glasses of wine? In addition to that feeling of letting go that alcohol gives us, it also affects our hunger and satiety hormones! Oops!


  • Non-alcoholic beers are tasteless and uninteresting


FALSE. The alcohol-free industry is booming! Alcohol-free IPA, white and microbrewery beers are now available. Discover these new products! As for their caloric content, they vary significantly. While some have just as many calories as their alcoholic counterparts, others contain as little as 35 calories per can. Look for that figure.



On that note, we wish you a wonderful summer! Did you have a bit too much during the last happy hour? The solution? Get MOVING more. ;)



Vanessa Daigle, Dt.P

Nutritionist ¡ Dietician