Dr. Megan Johnson McCullough – The alcohol industry has become more and more lucrative with many brands, tastes, and types widely available. One study found that in a 3-month period, 60% of Americans had a beverage with vodka in it.
In 2019, an estimated 77.57 million 9-liter cases of vodka were consumed in the United States. In terms of health, alcohol itself, which includes vodka, can pose the risk for liver disease, cancer, and/or cardiovascular disease.
Vodka is about 40 to 50% pure alcohol. Drinking it moderation would be about 1.5 oz for females and about 3 oz for males. Vodka only contains ethanol and water, so there is practically no nutritional value when drinking it. All the calories come from the alcohol itself. One shot of 80 proof vodka contains 97 calories and nothing else. There is no fat, no sugar, no carbohydrates, no sodium, and no protein. One must be careful of what they mix vodka with when considering adding fat, sugar, carbs, sodium, or protein. That means that weight gain from vodka would be from extra intake of calories. This is also why you don’t see nutritional labels on vodka bottles. You would consider the additional calories you are consuming of vodka with those you get from the foods you eat and whatever else you drink that day. Because intoxication can happen when drinking vodka, it is possible to make poor food choices as a result. The difference between vodka and beer is that beer contains carbohydrates in addition to the additional calories.
Popular brands include Absolute, Ketel One, and Grey Goose. Absolute has been around since 1879 and
is from Sweden. It is known for having different flavors and is made of winter wheat. Ketel One is over
300 years old and comes from the Dutch. It is known for being a more sophisticated choice. Grey Goose
originated in France and is made up of 40% alcohol by volume, is 80 proof alcohol, is made of French
winter wheat, and has water from the Cognac region. There are of course many other brands to choose
from. Popular beverages to mix vodka with include cranberry juice, lemonade, ginger beer, orange juice,
and/or tonic/soda water.
Alcohol has become part of our culture, be it celebratory, at happy hour, or just something to enjoy
after a long day. That being said, it is an add on to what we eat and drink, so it is an extra. This means
that we should have it in moderation, on occasion, and be mindful of the resulting choices we make
when our decisions might be blurred from the effects of alcohol. It’s also an added expense. To each
their own. Vodka is just one of the many types of alcohol to select either as a shot or drink to sip on.
Cheers to good health whether that include alcohol being consumed responsibility or not at all.