Non-alcoholic drinks: how healthy are they?
Dr Ali Hill, Course Leader BA (Hons) Applied Human Nutrition, questions how healthy non-alcoholic beers and wines are and compares them with their alcoholic counterparts.
A few years ago, alcohol-free beers and wine were a rarity. And what was available was pretty execrable. Today, the market is booming and you can order a pint of alcohol-free IPA, with all its rich hoppiness, or a glass of 'de-alcoholised' merlot that actually tastes like wine, not jumped-up grape juice.
In the UK, a drink can be classed as alcohol free if it has less than 0.05% ABV (alcohol by volume). This is considerably less than alcohol-containing versions (beer has about 4-5% and wine around 13%). Given the negative effect, alcohol can have on your health, particularly over the long term, alcohol-free beer and wine are certainly healthier options. But does that mean they’re good for you?
Not everyone is aware that alcoholic drinks contain calories. A standard glass of wine, for instance, has nearly as many calories as a jam doughnut, and that’s just from the alcohol it contains. But how does a glass of alcoholic-free wine compare?