Last week, The Globe‘s dietitian Leslie Beck was asked “If I’m going to drink, what’s the healthiest booze?” (July 20, 2011)

While no one wants to feed into weight gain neuroses, I did think that helping clients become aware of the calories in various alcoholic beverages could be a useful clinical tool for an individual who is trying to change his or her drinking patterns (for whatever reason).

Beck says: “The calories in alcoholic beverages come from alcohol, which contributes 7 calories per gram compared to 4 calories per gram of protein and carbohydrate. Every 5-ounce glass of wine, 1.5 ounces of hard liquor or 12-ounce bottle of light beer has roughly 100 calories (regular beer delivers 150 calories per 12-ounce serving).”

Other factors to consider are things like how beer has carbs and coolers contain a fair amount of sugar. Ways to dilute calories include drinking things like a white wine spritzer (50 calories) or a vodka & soda (76 calories). Chances are that if you’re being mindful of diluting your calories from alcoholic beverages that you’ll also pace your overall intake of alcohol. How motivating is that?