I’ll admit it, it’s difficult to maintain a healthy diet when most social gatherings involve drinking beer and eating chips with friends. Most alcoholic drinks are filling and packed with carbs, mixed drinks are full of sugar, and wine…well, let’s just say it’s to be left for special occasions. So how do you keep a flat stomach without being labeled as a social introvert? Read on to find out.
Before we move on to the healthiest type of alcohols, it’s important to note that, the way in which you drink the alcohol may also affect your body. For instance, straight liquor, is less harsh on the body when served neat (without mixers) or on the rocks (with ice cubes). This includes scotch, whiskey, and gin among others.
However, it is the clearer types of alcohol that come with the least amount of baggage – having less calories and being more tasty. One serving of gin may have no carbs but carry up to 110 calories while a serving of vodka has no carbs and 97 calories.
First off, let’s lay down the facts. Even the healthiest alcohol beverages still aren’t that safe. After all, too much of anything, even healthy alcohol, can earn you a one-way ticket to the emergency room with alcohol poisoning, which would be the least of your worries. But skipping social gatherings may not be option, so here is a rundown of some healthy alcohols.
Red Wine, First On the List
This is my favorite, mainly because it suits all occasions and everyone loves red wine – use it to set the mood during intimate occasions or to soothe the evening after a long day’s work. The best part is, it’s one of the few alcohols that can be classified as healthy. This is because it contains Resveratrol, a nutrient that can be very beneficial to the body. It comes from the skin of red grapes and works to lower cholesterol levels and prevent blood clots in the arteries.
Lowering my cholesterol is not first on my to-do-list but I still like to enjoy the other benefits, like proper blood circulation. I find that it’s much easier to enjoy a late evening run after a glass of wine.
Red wine is also a heart-friendly alcoholic drink. Polyphenols, antioxidants found in red wine, can protect the lining of the blood vessels in the heart and help to keep your heart healthy longer. All in all, red wine is not too bad for your stomach.
The Sweetness of Rose and White Wines
Nothing is more relaxing after a hard day’s work than a chilled glass of rose or white wine. You’ll also be comforted to know that you are having a low calorie drink. Rose and white wines do not contain resveratrol like red wine because they are not made using the skin. Nonetheless, research has revealed that they can still be effective in boosting the circulation of blood in the heart. The sweetness is the main reason why rose wine is always on my menu.
A number of positive effects are linked to the moderate consumption of these wines. Similar to red wine, rose wine contains Polyphenols that help to lower LDL and cholesterol as mentioned earlier. Potassium is effective in lowering blood pressure, while the anti-inflammatory properties reduce joint pain and the risk of rheumatoid arthritis.
Drinking Healthy Beer
Beer doesn’t usually equate to a healthy diet – more like a big belly (or at least that’s what we think). Drinking beer may not give you that flabby tummy you’re so scared of – not if you drink the right type. Light beer are the healthiest types of beers – low carbs and calories.
However, you should still try to avoid beer if you can; but if you find that you can’t, then try to make sure that you are drinking the lightest beer available. Two of the best choices that you can make are: the 55 calorie Budweiser Select and the 64 calorie Miller Genuine Draft Light. So if you want a beer then try one of these, just try to limit yourself to just one beer.
The Stronger Alcohols
If you have something stronger on your mind in terms of drinking, then you are better off limiting yourself to just a couple drinks or units.
Gin is a drink that is made from juniper berries, it is known as a diuretic, which means that it makes you want to urinate and helps you reduce the level of your blood sugar.
Whiskey is good in more ways than one; firstly it most likely won’t be giving you a hangover; and secondly it is not harsh on your stomach. As an added bonus, it actually contains antioxidants (as much as Vitamin C)and it has ellagic acid which helps fight cancer.
Lastly, whiskey also has the ability to take in some of the healthy characteristics of the barrels used to age it. With so many benefits it’s easy to forget that we are actually talking about hard alcohol.
It is a pretty well-known fact that brandy (just a shot) can actually have almost just as much Vitamin C as orange juice (one glass). However, only higher quality brandies will have this much Vitamin C.
Low Calorie Mixers
Lastly, if you are concerned about weight loss but still want to be partying and drinking then you will most likely be interested with low calorie mixers.
Zero Sugar Soda –
For choices, you have sodas such as Coke, Fanta and Sprite. The “light” versions of these sodas not only have little calories, they are also wonderful mixers.
While it may just seem simpler to just buy the juice that you see in supermarkets, you are better off making the apple or orange juice that you want for yourself. That way you are sure that the juice in your drink is healthy.
Similarly, some drinks (such as Margaritas and Mojitos) are made using lemon juice. If these are the drinks that you love then you should make an effort to juice your own fresh lemons for yourself.
I hope these hints and tips will help you make healthier choices when drinking alcohol.