Just one drink can ruin your diet

IO_life food wine restaurant0 INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS The middle classes are unwittingly becoming risky drinkers by regularly having wine with their evening meal, significantly increasing their susceptibility to conditions such as cancer and stroke. Picture:Sophia Stander

London - They may feel virtuous when they stick to salad and turn down dessert.

But many dieters are unwittingly undoing all their good work by accompanying their meal with a favourite drink.

Two out of three Britons have no idea how many calories they are consuming in their preferred tipple - even though many are trying to lose weight.

Women who deny themselves sweet treats are likely to be horrified that a glass of champagne contains 95 calories, the same as a slice of treacle tart.

A glass of wine is the equivalent of a choc ice at 134 calories, and two Yorkshire puddings could take the place of two gin and tonics. Almost half of consumers are trying to lose weight, yet they have no plans to reduce their drinking, says alcohol awareness charity Drinkaware.

The charity, which surveyed 2 000 UK adults, found one in three intends to monitor their calorie intake over the next month. But only one in ten is thinking about tracking the alcohol they drink.

And while two-thirds are worried about their bank balance, three-quarters would choose to save money by cutting back on eating out, buying clothes or going on holiday, rather than reducing the amount of alcohol they buy.

Although alcohol has almost as many calories as pure fat, most drinkers are unaware how many are in their favourite tipple.

Less than a third of adults realised there are 134 calories in a 175ml glass of wine, but nearly half know there are 337 calories are in a cheeseburger.

One pint of four percent beer is equal to a sugar-coated doughnut at 193 calories, and three pints of five percent lager are a match for an all day breakfast.

Government guidelines in the UK recommend men drink no more than four units a day and women no more than three, with two alcohol-free days a week.

One unit is roughly the equivalent of half a pint of standard lager, beer or cider, a pub measure of sprits or a 125ml glass of wine. Research suggests a link between drinking - especially binge drinking, or five or more drinks a session - and abdominal obesity, which can contribute to heart disease and diabetes.

Chris Sorek, chief executive of Drinkaware, said many dieters did not realise a few drinks could make them pile on the pounds.

He added: “While they might make healthy lifestyle choices in other areas of their life, they might not know that sharing a bottle of wine with their partner exceeds the daily unit guidelines and is the equivalent of eating a slice of cheesecake.”

The charity is launching MyDrinkaware, an online drink diary which converts the user’s consumption into units, calories and cost - and tells them how many burgers they could have eaten for the same number of calories. - Daily Mail

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