What Alcoholic Drink Has the Least Amount of Calories?

Drinking alcoholic beverages can add excess calories to your diet, so it's important to know how many calories are in common beverages to stay within daily caloric goals. Understanding the calorie content of alcohol will help guide choices in type of beverages and amount consumed.

Calories in Wine

A typical serving of wine is about 5 oz., which provides about 13.7 gm of alcohol. A glass of wine regardless of type typically ranges from 100 to 120 calories. Calorie content will be slightly higher for sweet wines compared to dry wines. Dessert wines, which are served in smaller 2- to 3-oz. portions is higher in calories, averaging 140, because of the sweetness of the grapes used.

Calories in Beer

Calories in beer vary from the type of brewing practices used. Typically, beer is served in a 12-oz. portion. In light beers, 12 oz. provides anywhere from 55 to 100 calories, depending on brand. Microbrews are higher in calories and average 150 calories per 12-oz. serving. Stout beers are highest in calories, averaging 175 calories per 12-oz. serving.

Calories in Liquor

Hard liquor or distilled spirits are rated on proof. Typically, most liquors are 80 proof but can vary from 75 to 120 proof. The higher the proof, the higher the alcohol content, which also equates to higher calories. One and half ounces of an 80-proof liquor is approximately 100 calories and is the typical serving. Often liquor is mixed with juice or soda, which will increase the drink's calorie content.

The Highest and Lowest

Margaritas are typically mixed with two to three different liquors and average 325 calories per serving.z On the opposite spectrum, extra-light beer, at 55 calories per serving, is the best option if watching calorie intake when consuming alcohol.

All in Moderation

Calories can add up quickly if moderation is not practiced. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's dietary guidelines, moderation should be entertained if alcohol is consumed. It is recommended that men do not drink more than two drinks per day. Women should limit consumption to one drink per day. Average servings of beverages include: 12-oz. beer, 8-oz. malt beverage, 5- oz. glass of wine and 1.5-oz. distilled liquor.

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