It’s only natural with the festive season around the corner for you to wonder, food and alcohol in the same meal or separated? What is better? Alcoholic drinks and food are a popular combination for most people and also the basis for an Italian aperitivo. But what are the pitfalls when it comes to hangovers or even diets?
Alcohol piles on the calories
Moderate consumption of alcohol awakens an appetite for high-fat foods. This is supported by a Dutch study published in the journal Appetite. From tests conducted on 24 healthy adults, a trend emerged after drinking a cocktail with orange juice and vodka, equivalent to 20 grams of alcohol, the participants took 11% more calories than those who only drank orange juice.
Salty food favoured
Alcohol and salty food is the combination that reigns among the bar tables during happy hour. A cocktail accompanied by pretzels, canapés, chips and peanuts often leads to more calories than necessary. For this reason alone, alcohol should not be a daily habit, but a treat to enjoy occasionally. And to not overdo it, a suggestion is to choose less caloric foods, not excessively rich in fats and sugars, which are also contained in the most popular cocktails. It’s better to opt for a non-alcoholic fruit-based cocktail or a glass of wine along with raw vegetables, dried fruit or canapés prepared with simple ingredients.
Lose weight with alcohol
Those who are following a diet are often advised to completely eliminate alcohol. Is it really necessary? To minimize the impact of drinking, food and alcohol in the same meal or separated? What is better? Apparently, only a small percentage of the alcohol consumed actually turns into fat. Furthermore, according to some studies, it’s possible to drink alcohol regularly – even every day, but in moderation – and still lose weight. This doesn’t mean that it has no impact on weight. Alcohol, in fact, reduces the body’s ability to burn fat, which is necessary for the production of energy.
Cure hangovers with food
The relationship between food and alcohol is not only aimed at the pleasure of the senses. In fact, after an alcoholic evening, certain foods can help you to deal with a hangover. By digesting alcohol, the body exhausts its reserves of potassium and magnesium and spasms, weakness, nausea and dizziness may occur. Dried apricots and coconut water are rich in potassium and beans help to restore the right level of magnesium. Sweet potatoes help restore the right level of glucose in the blood and bring a fair amount of the potassium and vitamin B that were dissolved in the alcohol.
The worst symptom felt during a hangover is nausea. To fight it, in the fifties Hollywood stars use to drink Bloody Marys the next morning. Can it work? According to Wayne Jones, an alcohol specialist at the Linköping National Forensic Toxicology Laboratory in Sweden, drinking more alcohol forces the body to deal again with ethanol, slowing the elimination of methanol, which is responsible for the after-effects, therefore the symptoms are alleviated. In this case, the ideal hangover remedy would be a combination of vodka, sweet potatoes, eggs and lots of water to quickly recover from the weakness and the catatonic state in which one awakens after a drinking night.