It’s that time of year again when we’re all being bombarded with advice on how to avoid over-indulging in party food and booze. Although being told to ‘stop at two is great in theory, when we get into the festive spirit it’s easy to postpone our good intentions.
When it comes to alcohol it really pays to have the facts so that you know what you’re putting in your body and what the consequences of that will be. We all know that beer is full of bad fats and is high in calories, but do we all know what the better options really are?
Vodka with Soda
One of the most low calorie drinks you can choose is a vodka with soda. There is approximately 95 calories in 1.5 ounces of vodka. Soda water is totally calorie free!
When drinking tequila, always look on the label to check it is 100% Agave. Real Mexican tequila is required by law to only be made from the blue Weber agave plant. When tequila is made in the U.S it can contain up to 49% other liquids, which will usually be sugary alcohols – this is something to be avoided! When made in Mexico, this drink will be gluten free, sugar free and low in carbohydrates. Tequila experts will tell you that a shot after dinner can aid with digestion and also that when drank in moderation can help to lower bad cholesterol levels. A single serving of tequila contains approximately 97 calories.
Japanese rice wine, known as sake is made from fermented rice and is usually around 16% alcohol. Sake contains selenium which is a mineral with antioxidant properties. Several health conditions have been linked to low selenium levels. Drinking rice wine is known to be better for your stomach than the majority of other alcohols, especially if you already suffer from a digestive condition.
In recent years we've been hearing more and more how a glass of red wine a night is actually quite good for you. Not only does it help you to relax after a stressful day, but it also contains iron, potassium, magnesium and a range of antioxidants. One of these antioxidants, called resveratrol, is known to lower bad cholesterol levels whilst also helping to protect against blood clots.
Potato vodka, as the name would suggest, is made using potatoes instead of the usual grains. It is almost impossible to tell the difference in taste. As with grain vodka, potato vodka has antibacterial properties and is astringent in nature meaning it can keep the skin and hair healthy. The differences between the two are that the potato version is gluten free, sugar free and also has a lower carbohydrate count. That means you can enjoy it in moderation without worrying as much about the adverse health effects.
When it comes to mixers to drink your drinks with, it is best to avoid high sugar, high calorie options. Opt instead for fresh fruit juice (that you can make at home) or even blended vegetables such as cucumber, carrot or avocado. If you want to sweeten up your drink then it’s always a good idea to use a squirt of organic honey – but don’t over do it! Also, if you’re in a bar and it’s therefore not possible to make the drink yourself, then the best options are gluten free beers and ciders, a red wine or champagne. Try to avoid mixed drinks and liqueurs as they are usually crammed with refined sugar!