Guinness or Skimmed Milk - which is less fattening?
October 29, 2006 2:34 PM   Subscribe

Does draught Guinness really have less calories than skimmed milk? Wikipedia seems to think so but is that right, and can you help me understand why? Thank you :)
posted by fingerbang to Food & Drink (18 answers total)
 
According to the USDA nutrition database, 1 imperial pint (2.4019 U.S. cups = 588.4655 g) of "Milk, nonfat, fluid, without added vitamin A (fat free or skim)" has 206 kcal of energy. Wikipedia claims an equivalent volume of Guinness has 198 kcal. That would be less. Guinness manufacturer Diageo also claims the same thing.

What is hard to explain about why? Guinness must have substantially fewer grams of carbohydrates per volume.
posted by grouse at 2:43 PM on October 29, 2006


I say substantially less because the extra calories from ethanol must be made up somehow. OTOH, milk probably has more protein.
posted by grouse at 2:49 PM on October 29, 2006


Beer is just less calorically dense than milk, which has proteins and dense sugars. Beer also has much more plain water content than milk.
posted by frogan at 2:56 PM on October 29, 2006


Because even skim milk has some fat present (less than 0.5% butterfat), and fats are very high calorie molecules. Guinness contains no fat whatsoever, but the majority of its calories come from ethanol. However, Guinness is NOT a very high alcohol beverage - only about 4% (versus at least 6% for most other brewed stouts.) Also, Guinness does contain quite a more carbohydrates, relative to fat-free milk, which further drives up calorie count.

See the table in this Wikipedia page on Calories.
posted by dendrite at 2:57 PM on October 29, 2006


You are all awesome...thank you!
posted by fingerbang at 3:13 PM on October 29, 2006


Speaking as a hardcore drunkard, smallerdemon, "Awesome."

Guinness and Cheerios is the Breakfast of Champions that Had a Bit Much Last Night and are Out of Milk the Morning After and the Sun is too Damn Bright to Go Outside to get Goddamn Milk So I Guess This Will Work.

Guinness is also good with a scoop of ice cream on top.
Guinness 'Toucan Brew' is even better with said Cheerios and Ice Cream

posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:57 PM on October 29, 2006 [4 favorites]


Aww, I thought I invented the guinness float!

Guinness is very "thick", which is why I think so many disbelieve the caloric content, but viscosity isn't linked to caloric content per se. Additionally, thick appetizers might help you eat less!
posted by shownomercy at 4:25 PM on October 29, 2006


"Nutrition Facts" calories don't count calories derived from ethanol. Ethanol gives about 7kcal per gram and if you assume Guinness is 4%, then 355 cc would have 14 cc of alcohol, which is roughly 14 grams of alcohol, so there are 7x14 = 98 calories unaccounted for.
posted by ikkyu2 at 5:42 PM on October 29, 2006


"Nutrition Facts" calories don't count calories derived from ethanol.

I find that extremely hard to believe.
posted by Arcaz Ino at 5:48 PM on October 29, 2006


Guinness and "cheerios" and guinness and ice cream. Lord, is it any wonder they can't give away working visas in america to irish students any more?

I can't imagine Diageo are lying about the calorie count, but your barman will probably be less pissy if you order a pint of plain than a pint of milk. I remember from my bartending days that milk screwed up the dishwasher.
posted by jamesonandwater at 6:11 PM on October 29, 2006


Can no one properly source around here?

hope the link works!
posted by Kwantsar at 6:17 PM on October 29, 2006


And, to ikkyu2, I think if you do the math on my previous link (from the manufacturer, no less), you'll see that:

11g carbs
1g protein
--------
12 carbs
x4 kcal/g
--------
48 calories from carbs and protein.

130kcal
-48 kcal
--------
82 kcal from alcohol
/7 kcal/gram in alcohol
--------
12 grams alcohol


Now, I never could keep straight that by weight/by volume stuff, and all those numbers are rounded, and I don't know if everything adds up at 4.2% alcohol by volume, etc, but this has to be enough for you, fingerbang.
posted by Kwantsar at 6:22 PM on October 29, 2006


"Nutrition Facts" calories don't count calories derived from ethanol

Beer doesn't have nutrition facts anyway.
posted by smackfu at 6:45 PM on October 29, 2006


Guinness is very "thick"

Guinness is actually not very thick. Some of the roasted grains give it a very pungent flavor, and the nitro-head you get on draft (or from the draft cans/bottles) gives it a creamy perception, but as beers go, it's actually rather light. That's why it's the one that always floats in a black-and-whatever: the complementary beer is always more dense, even though it's usually something with a less "heavy" flavor.

viscosity isn't linked to caloric content per se

Not necessarily, but in beer this is usually the case. Thick, heavy beers tend to have significantly more calories both because they tend to be higher in alcohol and because they tend to be higher in residual, unfermentable (but totally digestible) sugars. Of course, there are some tricks to be played that can make a low-alcohol, low-calorie, not-very-dense beer like Guinness come across as heavy and bold.
posted by rkent at 9:30 PM on October 29, 2006


Guinness isn't very thick at all. The head is thick, creamy goodness, but the beer itself is pretty thin (anyone who's had a black-and-tan knows that the Guinness floats on top!).
posted by neckro23 at 9:33 PM on October 29, 2006


D'oh!
posted by neckro23 at 9:33 PM on October 29, 2006


neckro23 writes "The head is thick, creamy goodness, but the beer itself is pretty thin (anyone who's had a black-and-tan knows that the Guinness floats on top!"

Density isn't related to viscosity. Whether something floats on something else won't tell you anything about how thick, thin or creamy they are relative to each other.
posted by Mitheral at 11:08 AM on October 30, 2006


Guinness, draft beer, 4.2% abv, 100mL

Calories 36 ( Kilojoules 149 )

Calories from Fat 0 (0%)
Calories from Carbohydrate 12 (32%)
Calories from Protein 1 (3%)
Calories from Alcohol 25 (65%)

Milk, Cow, non-fat/skim (0.1% fat), 100mL

Calories 41 (Kilojoules 170)

Calories from Fat 1 (2%)
Calories from Carbohydrate 23 (58%)
Calories from Protein 16 (40%)
Calories from Alcohol 0 (0%)

Courtesy of Calorie King.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 12:26 AM on October 31, 2006


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