NEW - Alcohol Tracking

Emma Brown - Nutritionist | 08 Aug, 2020

We've recently added a great new feature to the Nutracheck app which allows you to track your alcohol units and calories from alcoholic drinks. Check out the video below to see how to add these handy new trackers to your diary:

Our nutritionist Emma explains the benefits of the new trackers for anyone who drinks alcohol. "We might think we have a reasonable idea of how many units we're consuming, but the number of calories in alcoholic drinks can be a real eye opener!".

Why track alcohol units?

This tracker helps you keep check on your daily and weekly intake of alcohol units. To keep health risks from alcohol to a low level, current health advice is to consume no more than 14 units of alcohol per week, and that these should be spread over three or more days. We should also aim to have at least two alcohol free days each week. This guidance applies to both men and women.

You can view a weekly summary of your diary to check how your weekly units compare to the 14 unit guidance. To find this in the App, tap on the green menu button, followed by 'Week View'. Scroll along the nutrient options at the top and you will find 'Alc. Units'.

While the occasional glass of wine or beer is okay, consuming alcohol in excess and on a regular basis can be harmful to our health long term. Alcohol can increase our risk of heart disease, liver disease, high blood pressure and even some types of cancers – so it's important to try and stick to the safest maximum limit.

Tips to reduce weekly units

  1. Aim to have a few alcohol free days across the week, and enjoy a couple of small drinks on two or three days.
  2. Try alternating alcoholic drinks with soft drinks if out for an evening, to help reduce your overall intake of alcohol units.
  3. Choose singles and small measures whenever possible, and take your time to enjoy the drink.

Why track alcohol calories?

Calories in alcoholic drinks are all too often overlooked as many people forget that liquid calories count too! What's more, alcoholic drinks provide what we call 'empty calories' – meaning they contribute significantly to our daily energy intake, but provide no nutritional value. In fact, did you know that alcohol is the second most calorie dense nutrient after fat, with 7 calories per gram versus 9 for fat? Carbs and protein by comparison provide 4 calories per gram.

Then there's additional calories from sugar or flavoured syrups in drinks such as cocktails, plus sugar sweetened mixers and beer, and you can end up with as many calories in your glass as you might consume in a donut! Using the alcohol calories tracker allows you to see at a glance how many of your daily calories are coming from alcoholic drinks alone. You can then decide what may be necessary to change to reduce your intake to help stay within your daily allowance.

Tips to save calories

  1. Choose diet mixers with things like gin, vodka and rum.
  2. Avoid cocktails that are made using fruit juice or creamy drinks such as a pina colada.
  3. Opt for 'light' versions of beer where possible to reduce overall alcohol and calories.

How to add the alcohol trackers to your diary

  1. Open the app and tap on the green menu button to the right of the search bar.
  2. Scroll down to 'Diary Preferences' > 'Diary Trackers' – make your selection.

Nutritionist Emma Brown (ANutr), MSc Human Nutrition is passionate about how food science applies to the human body, and how the nutrients in what we eat affect us and ultimately have an impact on our health.