Saturday, June 18, 2011

Low Calorie Alcoholic Drinks

So the weekend has come along and after all It’s been a long week, and you’re looking forward to happy hour and a small break from your diet. But what most people do not realize is that a night on the town and the
calories in Alcohol
 can do some pretty serious damage. Still, going out with your friends and hitting the bars does not have to be a diet downer. 

When on a diet, it is best to choose an alcoholic drink that has a low ABV, or alcohol by volume; or to increase the volume of a drink by adding a calorie-free mixer. Although one serving of regular beer is higher in calories than a serving of wine, it also has more volume, and therefore may take you longer to drink. Specialty beers such as Guinness or Sam Adams Cream Stout can also be a smart choice, as although they are higher in calories than light beer, it is less likely you will drink many glasses of these heavy brews. Most of us never realize how easy it is to overdo it. It’s pretty obvious to most of us that fast food and desserts are fattening. But when it comes to alcoholic drinks, sometimes the nutrition (or lack thereof) just doesn’t seem to matter. Never mind that a single cocktail can do more damage than a McDonald’s grilled chicken burger. In fact, 1 gram of alcohol has 7 calories, compared with only 4 for a gram of carbohydrates or protein. Drinks are always typically overlooked as a source of weight gain and as result nobody looks out for low calorie alternatives. This is actually true for all drinks and not just alcohol.  
Calories in normal drinks however are not hidden (they’re listed right on the Nutrition Facts label ), but alcoholic drinks typically do not have a label! But there is good news: you have plenty of options for reducing the number of calories in what you drink and knowing what you are going to drink before you go can help!

Below are some of the good and bad in terms of calories in alcoholic beverages. 
Here is MY LIST of beer, wine, liquor, mixers, and more and their calorie content. I obviously can not cover ALL of them, so here is link to CALORIEKING.COM 's list! There is also a great Alcohol Calorie Calculator to find out the number of calories in any drink (The site also covers alcohol problems, consequences, information, etc)
Darker alcoholic beverages usually contain more congeners (byproducts of fermentation). They are toxic, just something more for the liver to deal, and worsen the effects of a hangover. White wine and clearer spirits like white rum, vodka or gin will have fewer congeners. While congeners do not effect calorie content it's a general rule of thumb that clearer spirits have a lower calorie content.

Low Calorie Liquor

Liquor bottles don’t list health information either and that again makes it very hard to count,
or even remember to count, calories. But usually, the amount of calories in liquor is directly related to the alcohol content. So make sure you do not let the bartender go crazy.

Shots The term "proof" refers to the alcohol content of distilled liquor. You calculate proof by doubling the alcohol percentage. For example, if a liquor is 75 percent alcohol, it is 150 proof. Alcohol content varies, but distilled liquors tend to have a higher proof than beer or wine. Liquor that is 50 percent alcohol, or 100 proof, has around 11 g of alcohol per ounce. A 1-oz. shot of 100-proof rum, gin, vodka or whiskey has about 80 calories.

Mixed drinks - often are high in calories, especially if they contain full-calorie juice, soda, cream or ice cream. An 8-oz. daiquiri can have as many as 250 calories, and the same size margarita on the rocks has more than 300 calories. A 6-oz. rum and cola has around 140 calories, but you can cut that in half by making it with diet soda. Some specialty frozen drinks are made with cream and ice cream in addition to alcohol. An 8-oz. mudslide, for example, can have more than 400 calories and 20 g of fat. When making frozen drinks at home, reduce calorie content by using reduced-calorie juice, skim milk or frozen yogurt in place of full-calorie products.

the worst - 
The most come from the sweet liquors, or liqueurs. An ounce of crème de menthe for instance registers an average of 125 calories. Also stay away from cocktails that combine several of the liqueurs, those are just bad news. The highest calorie count from alcoholic drinks are from the cocktails with multiple mixers, like the Long Island Iced Tea for example which clocks in at 780 per drink.
the best - For the lower calories for the most punch, you have two options, one is to look for lower alcohol content or look to cocktails that don’t go crazy on the mixers. If you do like cocktails, try a Bloody Mary, highball or a Manhattan, each delivers an average calorie count in the mid 100s for a standard serving and wont have you regretting it the next day. A couple of other low calorie alcoholic drinks are the Moscow Mule and The Mojito.

Low Calorie Beer

Everyone has heard of the much dreaded beer belly so most people consider beer to be the biggest culprit of them all when it comes to alcohol causing weight gain. The primary point to be made is that beers with less alcohol generally turns out to be less fattening than the alternative with more alcohol. However if drinking something with less alcohol ends up with you drinking more it then the entire exercises loses its point.
On average most beers will fall below 150 calories per bottle. The biggest offenders are the darker beers. But  remember that you can easily exceed 500 plus calories once you start drinking more than two bottles of almost any brand of beer.

the worst - Among the fattiest  beers is Anchor Porter, weighing in at 209 calories in a 12 oz serving. Looking at imports, the McEwans Scottish Ale delivers a staggering 295 calories per 12 oz serving.
the best - Pabst Extra Light Low Alcohol is only 67 per 12 oz serving which is stunning, and Molson Light which is up to 82 for the same quanitity. One of the few other beers coming in under 100 is Anheuser Busch Natural Light, at 95 calories per 12 oz. CLICK HERE FOR CALORIES IN BEER BY BRAND

Low Calorie Wine

Talk to anyone about Wine and you will find a surprisingly large amount of people will think that drinking Wine is not bad for your diet. In terms of health properties, research and popular belief about wine seems to be the complete opposite of beer. Many studies suggest that a glass or two of wine each day is quite healthy. Just remember that something that is good for you might still lead to weight gain.

Most countries do not require wine makers to reveal health information, so counting calories can be problematic. The bottles do, however, list their alcohol content and for the most part it is safe to assume that the more alcohol any given bottle wine has, the more calories it will have. If you are really trying to cut down, one of the best options is to stick with spritzers. This gives you less alcohol but more volume to drink.

the worstOne of the highest calorie counts for a glass of wine comes from Ruby Port. In a 4 oz glass, Ruby Port can deliver 185 calories.
the best - Various brands may vary, for a 4 oz glass of wine, but white zinfandel tends to be one of the safest bets with a modest 80 calories. Other smart choices are Chablis, at 85, and chardonnays with around 90 calories all from 4 oz servings.

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