Mezcal, a traditional Mexican alcoholic beverage made from the agave plant, has gained popularity around the world in recent years. Its smoky flavor and versatility in cocktails have made it a favorite among mixologists and cocktail enthusiasts alike. But what about its nutritional value? How many calories are in mezcal, and what are its health benefits and drawbacks? Let’s take a closer look.
How many calories are in mezcal?
Like other alcoholic beverages, mezcal contains calories, but the exact number varies depending on the brand and type. On average, a 1.5-ounce shot of mezcal contains around 97 calories. However, flavored and sweetened versions of mezcal, as well as mezcal-based cocktails, can contain significantly more calories.
It’s important to keep in mind that calories are not the only factor to consider when it comes to nutrition. Alcohol can have a number of other effects on the body, such as increasing appetite and reducing inhibitions, which can lead to overeating and poor food choices.
Health Benefits of Mezcal
While mezcal should be consumed in moderation, it does offer some potential health benefits. Like tequila, mezcal is made from the agave plant, which contains compounds called agavins. Agavins are a type of carbohydrate that the body does not digest, meaning they have a low glycemic index and do not cause spikes in blood sugar levels. This makes mezcal a good option for people with diabetes or those looking to manage their blood sugar.
Mezcal is also believed to have antioxidant properties. The smoky flavor of mezcal comes from the roasting of the agave plant, which creates compounds called phenols. Phenols are antioxidants that can help protect the body against damage from free radicals, which are molecules that can contribute to aging and disease.
Some Health Drawbacks of Mezcal
While mezcal can offer some potential health benefits, it’s important to remember that it is still an alcoholic beverage and should be consumed in moderation. Excessive alcohol consumption can have a number of negative effects on the body, such as increasing the risk of liver disease, high blood pressure, and certain types of cancer.
Additionally, some types of mezcal may be high in sugar or other additives, which can contribute to weight gain and other health issues. When choosing a mezcal brand, it’s important to read the label and choose a product that is free from added sugars and other artificial ingredients.
Mezcal Cocktails and Calories
While mezcal can be enjoyed on its own, it’s also a popular ingredient in cocktails. Here are the calorie counts for some popular mezcal-based cocktails:
- Smoky Margarita: 190 calories
- Mezcal Paloma: 175 calories
- Mezcal Mule: 200 calories
- Oaxacan Old Fashioned: 160 calories
- Mezcalita: 185 calories
- Mezcal Sour: 155 calories
- Mezcal Negroni: 195 calories
- Naked and Famous: 165 calories
- Prickly Lady: 150 calories
- Mezcal Mojito: 150 calories
- Harvest Ole: 150 calories
It’s important to remember that these calorie counts are estimates and can vary depending on the specific ingredients and serving sizes used. To minimize the calorie content of mezcal cocktails, it’s best to use fresh, low-calorie mixers and avoid sugary syrups and other additives.
Mezcal is a unique and flavorful alcoholic beverage that offers some potential health benefits but should be consumed in moderation. Mezcal can be a great addition to a balanced and healthy diet when consumed in moderation, but as with any alcoholic beverage, it’s important to be mindful of the calories and potential health risks. By enjoying mezcal in moderation and using it as a flavorful ingredient in lower calorie cocktails, you can still savor the unique taste and benefits of this ancient spirit while maintaining a healthy lifestyle.