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Are Your Holiday Cocktails Naughty or Nice?

‘Tis the season for adult beverages…or at least virgin adult beverages.  I’ve never been a huge fan of egg nog, but I have definitely enjoyed some mulled cider and other festive drinks during the holiday season.  They warm you up when the temperatures are low.  They give you a bit of a twinkle in your eye.  And, they are great for feeling festive with friends.

But, how much of an impact do these holiday delights have on our waistlines?  Some not so much, and others, well, a lot.  Holiday drinks tend to be high in sugar and, many, high in fat.  Although the below chart isn’t an exhaustive list of cocktails, it gives you an idea of those that are healthier and those that are less so.  Basically, those that are made with cream, half and half or sugary ingredients are the worst offenders.  Those that are more basic…and yes, a little more boring…are the lesser of evils.

Drinks rated 5 stars are the healthiest options, when looking at calories, fat and carbohydrate intake (sugars). Those that are rated with 1 star are the worst for you. As you can see, unfortunately, most of the season’s yummiest drinks are naughty.

Cocktail Serving Size Calories Carbohydrates Fat Rating
Wine Spritzer 6 oz 88 2.8 0 *****
Champagne 6 oz 120 2.4 0 *****
White / Red Wine 6 oz ~145 4.6 0 *****
Beer (light) 12 oz 104 5.8 0 *****
Beer (regular) 12 oz 153 12.8 0 ****
Mistletoe Cocktail 6 oz 130 7 0 ****
Peppermint Mojito 6 oz 273 15 0 ***
Hot Cider (no alcohol) 8 oz 117 29 0 ****
Hot Cider (with alcohol) 8 oz 216 22 0 ***
Poinsettia 8 oz 221 15 0 ***
Brandy Alexander 4 oz 246 8 9 **
White Russian(made with 1/2 and 1/2) 4 oz 286 14 5 **
Candy Cane 4 oz 370 42 14 *
Egg Nog (no alcohol) 8 oz 343 34 19 *
Egg Nog (with alcohol) 8 oz 393 38 12 *

If you are in full festivities mode, you can still enjoy while ensuring you don’t overdo it on your sugar, fat or calorie intake:

Option 1: Toast the evening off with whatever drink you choose.  If you indulge in others after, choose a lighter, healthier option to enjoy.

Option 2: To maintain a festive feel, while staying “on track,” try wine spritzers with a splash of juice. As you can see, wine spritzers are the best of the bunch. Further, they are festive (with the sparkling water) and if you add a splash of juice, you’ll get a bit more flavor and color than a typical spritzer without a ton of extra calories.

What is your favorite holiday cocktail?  Have you learned any tricks to keep the calories to a low roar?

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Posted in Brett's Blog, Nutrition Tagged with: , , , , , , ,