We could be forgiven for assuming that alcohol is similar to a carbohydrate, as it is derived from sugar, fruit and grain, is water soluble and is not stored in the body.
However, according to Dr JP Flatt PhD of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, when alcohol is added to the diet, or substitutes other essential nutrients, alcohol acts more like a fat, in that it spares fat from being oxidised or ‘burned’. The Swiss studies also show that alcohol actually increases the body’s ability to store fat. “Alcohol affects the diet in the same way as an increase in the percentage of fat eaten”.
This is because alcohol is oxidised by the body in preference to fat, thus ‘saving’ fat for storage. Therefore, alcohol affects the diet in the same way as an increase in the percentage of fat eaten. This is something to remember in your weight loss quest.
Dr Flatt suggests that if a person consumes 20% of fat in a reducing program, but continues to consume 10% of the daily calorie intake in alcohol, this should be considered equivalent to a diet of 30% fat.
The Swiss studies show that habitually drinking alcohol in excess of calorie/kj needs favours fat storage and may be considered as a contributing factor of overweight and obesity.