An Alcohol Reminder
By Caryn, The Whole Food Dietitian
Whether you’re still in the throes of your holidays or back to work, it’s likely a social time, especially for us southern hemisphere summer folk. For some, socialising can mean more alcohol than usual, and just a little too much at times. Drinks like beer, wine and spirits don’t provide much in terms of carbs (see our table below).
So what’s the problem you might be thinking? Well apart from the fact that alcohol is in fact a toxin (we’ll put that to one side for the moment), it is the total energy or calories that it provides (7 calories per gram of alcohol itself) and the habits that might be forming during the holiday weeks that can be more of a worry. So, here’s my little 5-point refresher and some advice to reign it in for those who might need it.
1. Take some nights off alcohol completely, but still engage in festivities. Soda streams are gold for this. Make your water bubbly, pour a glass of “bubbles” into a large wine glass. Drop a chunk of fresh lemon or lime in it and enjoy a refreshing non-alcoholic, calorie-free beverage. Often it is the wine glass in your hand that makes you feel “a part of it all”, so you can still feel decadent, and still indulge in sipping from a wine glass, only with a calorie-free edge. It’s a total win:win.
TOTAL CARBS: 0
TOTAL CALORIES: 0
2. Enjoy a vodka with soda; it’s about as low as you can get for both carbs and calories when it comes to alcoholic beverages. It also makes a great saving from your typical spirit + sugary-fizzy drink mix.
TOTAL CARBS: 0
TOTAL CALORIES: 61
3. Try low carb beer every now and then. Per 340ml serving, you can still make some savings:
TOTAL CARBS: 3.1g vs 9g (standard beer)
TOTAL CALORIES: 105 vs 130 Cal (standard beer)
4. Have a shandy with diet lemonade. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not actually into artificially flavoured sweet fizzy drinks, but every now and again, they can be used as a calorie-curber during a high social time like Xmas holidays. For a 500ml ½ standard beer; ½ diet lemonade mix, you do make some savings:
TOTAL CARBS: 7g
TOTAL CALORIES: 77g
5. DIY low-carb cocktail.
Mix together in a blender, a handful of fresh strawberries (or other frozen berries), a big squeeze of fresh lime juice, a shot of rum and some ice. Whizzed up in a few seconds for your low carb berry daiquiri.
TOTAL CARBS: 5g
TOTAL CALORIES: 90g
Finally, be a safe drinker, and don’t mix with driving ☺. I hope you are enjoying or have enjoyed your break or summer holiday.