You don’t have to quit your healthy habits when heading out on the town. We all know that alcohol should be used in moderation, and the term “healthy” and “alcohol” do not typically coincide. But, like most health vices, it is almost impossible to avoid alcohol unless you have given up drinking. So, check out these healthier alcoholic beverages that won’t destroy your diet.
Red Wine: The facts speak for themselves: red wine is rich in cancer-fighting antioxidants, can reduce risk of stroke, has flavonoids which can lower cholesterol, and helps thin the blood. This doesn’t mean you should drink a bottle a day, but this is the healthiest choice of drinks out there. Make sure to choose Organic Red wine without sulfites (read that the label says NSA or No Sulfites Added).
The Slim Cocktail: It is basic science: The higher the proof alcohol, the higher the calories. 80 proof vodka has 64 calories per one ounce compared to 100 proof vodka, which carries around 82 calories per one ounce. Mix with club soda and squeeze some lime in it for basically zero calories, and you are saving many calories for yourself. Although we are not big fans of aspartame, if you are looking to save calories, try mixing with diet soda. Also, the benefits of cranberry juice are amazing, but be careful to not splurge too much; cranberry juice can be full of sugars and high in calories.
The “Skinnygirl” Margarita: If you are a Bravo Junkie like us at Healthy In Chicago, you know the name Bethenny Frankel from Real Housewives of New York very well. Here is her famous recipe for a low-calorie version of a Margarita to sip as we wait anxiously for a Chicago spinoff of the show.
- 2 oz of Clear Premium Tequila (count 1, 2 while you pour, no need for measuring)
- Tiny splash of Orange Liquor
- Juice of 4 Fresh Lime Wedges
The So-Light-it-Floats Beer: Light beer has sure come a long way from the first light beer, Miller Lite. The major beer companies are wising up to the growing demand of beer with fewer calories. The ongoing battle between Budweiser and Miller is somewhat entertaining as we watch to see which company can produce the lowest calorie beer, but remember that the lower the calories, the lower the alcohol content. So, you may be tempted to have double the amount of beers. Gone are the days of Natty and Busch Lites in college, it is no longer acceptable to skimp on taste. So, our pick would be Miller Genuine Draft 64 over the lower calorie Budweiser Select 55. However, both only have 3% alcohol content, compared to a typical 4-6% in normal light beer, for about 30-40 more calories.
The Slender Sangria: Nothing beats Sangria in the summertime. But, when bought at restaurants, it can be loaded in added sugar and sweeteners. Try this lower sugar recipe with lots of fresh fruit to make a healthier version of the classic.
- 1 cup chilled pomegranate juice
- 1 (750 ml) bottle chilled organic red wine
- 1 cup orange juice (try fresh squeezed or organic to make it even better!)
- 1/2 cup frozen red seedless grapes
- 1 thinly sliced orange
- 1 thinly sliced lime
- 1 cup club soda, chilled (or seltzer water)
Mix all the ingredients except the club soda together and let chill in the refrigerator for one hour. Mix in the club soda after, and this serves 8!
Champagne: Although it is reserved typically for special occasions, bubbly comes in at around 90 calories per glass. There are also some health benefits as well.
Sources: Associated Content, Bethenny.com, fitsugar.com, thatsfit.com, Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnoula