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How Many Calories Are in Sake Alcohol?

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How Many Calories Are in Sake Alcohol?
Close-up of sake being poured at a dinner table. Photo Credit Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images

Sake, a dry rice wine, has a higher alcohol content than most wines made from grapes. It's served hot, room-temperature or chilled. Labels on sake often include recommendations for the serving temperature for that particular sake. Drinking alcohol in moderate amounts, especially in combination with a Mediterranean-style diet, helps to improve cardiovascular health, reports the National Institutes of Health's Medline Plus.

Calories

Alcohol has about 7 calories per gram. Calories from alcohol are "empty calories" because they lack nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. Sake contains 156 calories in a 4-oz. serving, reports the USDA's Nutrient Data Laboratory.

Alcohol

Sake generally contains 14 to 16 percent alcohol. In comparison, wine made from grapes usually contains seven to 14 percent alcohol. The higher alcohol concentration in sake means it's absorbed quickly and can lead to intoxication faster than drinks with lower alcohol content.

Sake contributes to Japanese cooking. The alcohol content cooks out, leaving a subtle flavor, richer and mellower than rice vinegar.

Considerations

Moderate sake consumption consists of one drink per day for women or two drinks a day for men. Pregnant women shouldn't drink alcohol, advises MedlinePlus, because drinking during pregnancy causes fetal alcohol syndrome.

Drinking sake in moderation with a meal provides a way to savor a traditional Japanese beverage. Warmed sake offers a different sensory experience than grape wines -- lighter and less sweet than a warmed brandy.

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