Using diet soda as an alcohol mixer increases drunkenness

  1. Artificially sweetened sodas, when used as cocktail mixers, make the drinks more potent, according to an “early view” of a study released in the journalAlcoholism: Clinical & Experimental ResearchFebruary 4. Specifically, researchers found that mixingalcohol with diet (sugar-free) soft drinks resulted in a higher blood alcohol concentration (BAC) than mixing alcohol with a regular (sugar-sweetened) soft drink.

Researchers gave college students vodka drinks with regular soda and with diet soda, and the diet soda group got more intoxicated – almost 20 percent more – than those who mixed regular soda with liquor. The sugar actually slows down the effects of alcohol, researchers say.

Sugar-containing drinks stimulate the stomach, delaying stomach emptying and, as a result, delaying absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream. Diet beverages, since they contain no sugar, do not trigger the stomach to delay emptying, allowing alcohol to reach the bloodstream more quickly.

Though it was a very small study, only eight women and eight men, the findings closely match previous research linking diet drinks and increased BACs. “The results were surprising,” said Cecile A. Marczinski, assistant professor in the department of psychological science at Northern Kentucky University, and one of the lead investigators of the study. “We are talking about significant differences here,” Marczinski said, adding that there may even be potentially harmful consequences for those who regularly request a diet soda with their spirits.

“In the long run, it’s more harmful for your body to be exposed to a higher alcohol concentration than a few extra calories,” she said. This could increase the incidence of alcohol abuse and the disease of alcoholism.

The students also completed computer tasks testing their reaction times afterdrinking, mimicking what they might face while driving. Those drinking the diet soda were slower to react.

No difference was noted between the genders, but the students said they felt the same no matter what they drank, even though tests showed the diet drinkers were about one-fifth more intoxicated. To put that in perspective, you’d have to add almost another shot of vodka to the sugar-sweetened drink to equal the potency of the diet drink mixture.

“Marczinski’s findings are very consistent with what we’ve found in the field in a natural drinking environment. When the mixer is diet soda, the bar patrons tend to have somewhat higher intoxication levels than when they consume regular soda,” says Dennis Thombs, professor and chair of the Department of Behavioral and Community Health, School of Public Health at the University of North Texas in Fort Worth.

Drinkers often mix diet soda and alcohol to save on calories. Calorie-counting drinkers might do better simply to limit their alcohol intake, since alcohol itself is packed with calories. (See this related article on alcohol calories.)


Finding a balance and choosing wisely when eating out , important tips !!! PART 1

I have always maintained most problems happen because of what we put IN our mouth ( eating ) and what we put OUT (speak ) of our mouths .Wars have been fought for the latter and different wars (Obesity, hunger etc.) are  waged for the former.

Anyway this is a food and nutrition blog, I will not bring politics in it .Most of us have struggled with portion control,calorie control quality of food and ultimately weight control when eating out ,socializing and celebrating.

When doing all or any of the above more is always better .We live in a society which has abundance of everything, and generousity and hospitality are equated with having more to serve ,eat and drink . As a result we as a society tend to carry more weight on our bodies (me included) whereas a large proportion of the world population is malnourished.

P.S. Please ignore the tips if you have fabulous metabolism, clean as a whistle arteries and great genetic makeup !!!!

It is always a challenge to make healthier and wiser choices when eating out so few vital things to keep in mind –

1.Never EVER leave home hungry, whether eating in a restaurant or somebody’s home

When eating in a restaurant it takes time to order and if you are in a restaurant where they serve complementary bread or chips you tend to to eat those indiscriminately with all the caution thrown out the window in terms of calories or portion control.

I was at an engagement ceremony last year and I was on a gluten free diet and perpetually starving and  I remember eating the filling from 6 -8 spring rolls throwing out the shell .Needless to say I got strange looks from people around me !!!

SOLUTION – If you know which restaurant you are going to, check out their menu online so you do not waste time reading the menu and deciding when you get there .

2. Do not order appetizers which are deep fried ( Tempura, Pakoras, Mozzarella sticks,Jalepeno poppers, Samosa  etc.)

3  .If you do want to order appetizers order salads with dressing on the side just so that you do not get 300 calories in the dressing alone !!! Off course order olive oil and vinegar based dressing versus a creamy one. Salads fill you up as they have lot of fiber so will provide the fullness without the calories. And yes this will not work if you are in an Indian restaurant as there are hardly any salads on the menu but fried snacks galore !!! Good Luck!!

4. .For appetizers you may order soups if they are creamy but but do not have cream in them .Cream makes food taste decadent but is  high in saturated fat  so a high calorie food .

5. THINK before you order any drinks , this is where the restaurants make most money and this is what your body stores as fat (the sugar in the drinks is converted to fat once the body’s glucose needs are met ).These are liquid calories which do not take away the need for food but contribute to your overall caloric intake . In nutshell easier to take in and most difficult to take off .

Enjoy!!!  EAT ,COOK ,LOVE !!!!

Why It Is Important To Include Leafy Greens And Eat Whole Grains

It has been a beautiful warm, busy summer so far with family visiting me. My nephew who has Type 1 diabetes was impressed when he saw my blog but right away pointed some vital information missing from there .The key thing he wanted me to specify with each recipe was how  high or low it was on Glycemic Index which is important for a diabetic. I want to specify that all receipes ( except Baklava and the Rice pudding off course!!! ) are created and modified so that they are low on Glycemic Index meaning eating them will Not cause sudden release of hormone Insulin (which under the best of circumstances is not good for our body ).

All the receipes I post are using whole grains (complex carbohydrates  ) with lots of leafy greens , our body needs to break these down into simple carbohydrates so that the body can utilize the energy and the nutrients for its vital functions .

When we eat refined foods with absence of any fiber there is a rise in blood sugar as the body does not need long to break down these foods for energy, which causes Insulin to be released rapidly into the blood stream causing a sudden burst of energy and then the rapid crash resulting into food cravings. Addition of soluble fibre (some beans , oats ,vegetables etc.) or insoluble fiber in form of wheat bran, some beans .all lentils etc) not only provide bulk , prevent many chronic diseases, promote satiety but also lower LDL cholestrol and reduce total cholestrol.

And to top it all off  all these foods are nutritional powerhouses so happy Greenzgrains everybody ,enjoy cooking and eating healthier foods and love your greens ( plenty of reason to !! ).

P.S Coming soon many receipes with fresh vibrant Sorrel , fresh garlic and kale and Collard greens from my yard !!!