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Beer vs. Wine Calorie Count

author image Jill Corleone, RDN, LD
Jill Corleone is a registered dietitian and health coach who has been writing and lecturing on diet and health for more than 15 years. Her work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Diabetes Self-Management and in the book "Noninvasive Mechanical Ventilation," edited by John R. Bach, M.D. Corleone holds a Bachelor of Science in nutrition.
Beer vs. Wine Calorie Count
Men and women do a toast at a barbeque. Photo Credit: Kane Skennar/Photodisc/Getty Images

Yes, it's true, drinking wine or beer may be good for you, as long as you limit it to moderate amounts. It helps your heart and may lower your risk of getting type 2 diabetes and gallstones. On the other hand, evidence exists that alcohol consumption may increase breast cancer risk, and beer and wine both contain calories, so that even if you drink moderate amounts -- one drink for women and two drinks for men -- getting too many calories from any food or drink leads to weight gain. Knowing the calorie count for your favorite wine or beer can help you decide if it is worth it.

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Keep It Light With White

As far as calories go, a little white wine isn't so bad, as long as you stay with the recommended serving size of 5 ounces. On average, a 5-ounce glass of white wine has 121 calories. Of course, calories do vary among the different types of wine. For example, a 5-ounce glass of chardonnay has 123 calories, while the same size glass of riesling has 118 calories. The lowest calorie white wine is the muller thurgau, that has 112 calories per 5-ounce glass.

A Little Red Wine Is Fine

Red wine is a little higher in calories than white wine, with an average of 125 calories per 5-ounce glass. A 5-ounce glass of red zinfandel is a little higher than average, with 129 calories and the cabernet sauvignon is a little less than average with 122 calories. The lowest calories red wine is gamay, with 115 calories per 5-ounce glass.

Regular Beer a Little High

When it comes to which beverage has the most calories, regular beer wins. On average, a 12-ounce glass of regular beer, which is considered one drink, has 153 calories. Beer calories also vary from brand to brand. For example, a 12-ounce serving of Budweiser has 146 calories, while the same serving of Blue Moon has 171 calories. The highest calorie beer is the Sierra Nevada Bigfoot with 330 calories per 12-ounce serving.

Save Calories and Make It Light

While regular beer is the highest calorie drink, light beer is the lowest, with an average of 103 calories per 12-ounce serving. Bud Light is a little higher than average, with 110 calories per serving, while Miller Light is a little lower than average, with 96 calories per serving. The lowest calorie light beer choice is Budweiser Select 55, with just 55 calories per 12-ounce serving.

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