Alcohol? Food?



IT DOES PROVIDE THE BODY WITH ENERGY (KILOJOULES).                  1g alcohol provides ~29kJ

Australian Dietary Guidelines, 2013

Guideline 3 Limit intake of foods containing saturated fat, added salt, added sugars and alcohol d. If you choose to drink alcohol, limit intake. For women who are pregnant, planning a pregnancy or breastfeeding, not drinking alcohol is the safest option.

Australian Guide to Healthy Eating

Alcoholic drinks fit into the DISCRETIONARY category as they have no essential nutrients to contribute. They should be consumed only in small amounts or not at all. For adults, the recommendation for total discretionary foods ranges from (depending on activity and height): •0 to 2–3 serves a day for men •0 to 2–2½ serves a day for women

One 'standard drink' is any drink that contains 10 grams of alcohol.


Discretionary Choices

Not essential or necessary but when consumed in occasional small amounts add variety and enjoyment.
Australian adults get nearly 36% of their kilojoules from discretionary foods (Rangan et al. 2009).

Australian Guidelines to Reduce the Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol (NHMRC, 2009)

For healthy men and women, drinking no more than 2 standard drinks on any day reduces the lifetime risk of harm from alcohol-related diseases or injury.
For healthy men and women, drinking no more than 4 standard drinks on a single occasion reduces the risk of alcohol related injury arising from that occasion

Children under 15 years of age are at the greatest risk of harm from drinking and for this age group, not drinking alcohol is especially important. For young people 1517 years, the safest option is to delay the initiation of drinking for as long as possible.
For women who are pregnant or planning pregnancy, not drinking is the safest option. For women who are breastfeeding, not drinking is the safest option.

Alcohol Absorption


Quickly absorbed across stomach walls
If stomach is empty, alcohol reaches brain within a few minutes
Absorption is slowed by food in stomach:
•CHO slows alcohol absorption
•Fat slows peristalsis keeping alcohol in the stomach for longer


Rapidly absorbed
Absorption and metabolism prioritised over other nutrients because alcohol is potentially toxic


Alcohol Metabolism


Primary site of alcohol metabolism
Alcohol broken down by alcohol dehydrogenase
Liver processes ~10 grams of ethanol per hour
During alcohol metabolism, other metabolic processes such as carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism are disrupted

Alcohol –Health Links

Obesity if alcohol added to normal food intake
Malnutrition if alcohol replaces normal food intake
Liver Disease
Kidney Disease
Heart Disease
Foetal Alcohol Syndrome
some cancers

Alcohol replaces food

•Protein-energy malnutrition •Reduced intake of nutrients
Alcohol interferes with metabolism of nutrients                                                                                 •e.g. folate, thiamin, B12, vitamin D                                                                                      •Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome

Isn't red wine healthy?

Recent scientific evidence suggests that any potential health benefits from consuming alcohol probably have been overestimated.
Any benefits are mainly related to middle aged or older people and only occur with low-levels of alcohol intake of about half a standard drink per day, which is within the Guidelines level.
The Guidelines do not encourage people to take up drinking just to get health benefits.

at the end of the day, NO alcohol is best but low intake is better than a higher intake of alcohol due to the above. we advise to be smart and to be careful when consuming alcohol


charlie jackson