It's almost summer. You want to look good in your teeny bikini or tight man speedo, but your summer slim up diet keeps getting side tracked. Whether you can't say no to hanging around with your buds at the pub or you have a friend training to be a bartender that wants you to sample all their concoctions, alcohol is whole bunch of empty calories that can really put the damper on your diet.
Being on a diet doesn't mean you have to give up the nectar all together, just pick healthier mixtures and drink in moderation.
Best get this out of the way before I am flooded with all sorts of comments about it. Alcohol is not healthy, so take the term "healthy" in regards of alcohol with a grain of salt. However, I am not just measuring the following cocktails in terms of calories, but the overall healthiness of the ingredients that go in them.
Tomato juice, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, celery, salt, pepper, Tabasco, and vodka
This little devil isn't just for hangovers anymore. It is considered to be the Queen of healthy alcoholic drinks. Looking at the ingredients above, you can pretty much see why. Anything with that many vegetables in it has to be healthy, no matter how much liquor you put in.
Vodka is really the low calorie alcohol of choice. Per shot it has about 96 calories, which may seem like a lot, but when you compare it to some of the others...Yeesh!
Tomatoes, the primary ingredient in a Bloody Mary is what makes it so healthy. Tomatoes are high in vitamin C, potassium, beta carotenes, anti-oxidants, and vitamin A. Tomatoes also contain various proteins that are good for skin and eye health.
The Tabasco and horseradish in the Bloody Mary are also great for good health. A rule of thumb for alcohol is that is if has things like Tabasco or other chili-based spices, it's very good for your health. Hot spices help people maintain a healthy weight and burn calories, they fight colds, is a digestive aid, and decreases appetite. Though, hot spices in alcohol may be a recipe for a bad after party on the toilet, especially if you are sensitive to hot things.
Vodka and Soda Water
Made from Vodka and Soda Water, garnished with lime
If you are not a fan for the nutrition of a Bloody Mary and are looking for a drink you can pound back without excessive calories, you won't find a better cocktail than vodka and soda water. The only problem is that is the most boring of drinks.
Vodka, as mentioned above, only has 96 calories per shot and soda water has no calories. So it is a great low-cal drink. However, it has little nutritional value unless you squeeze the lime garnish in there for a bit of vitamin C.
Made from grapes
Women tend to think wine is somehow bad for them while they are on a diet. It is actually better for you than drinking something boring like a vodka and soda water. Per glass, red wine contains around 110 to 140 calories, which isn't exactly terrible. Red wine is also fairly good for you. The nutritional value from red wine comes mostly from the grape skins, which are removed from white wine. Red wine has doses of iron, potassium, and magnesium, which is why the American Heart Association considers a glass a night a very hearth healthy drink. They also believe the flavanoids and nonflavanoids to reduce blood clots and lower bad cholesterol.
Barley, whole grains, water
If you are looking for a low calorie beer that's good for you. Then look to Ireland. Many a people call Guinness "liquid bread" and believe that it is a food group in Ireland. While many beers have enough calories to be considered a meal, Guinness is surprisingly low calorie.
A twelve ounce glass of Guinness is only 128 calories, which is higher than say the same amount of Budweiser. However a glass of Guinness will leave you much more satisfied than a glass of Budweiser. Unlike Budweiser, Guinness is better for your body and not just your soul. Because of the fact that Guinness is made with whole grains, it is full of nutrients like whole wheat bread and will keep you full.
Guinness is also said to have similar antioxidants as red wine, but the similarities don't stop there. The University of Wisconsin discovered that drinking Guinness may reduce blood clots and heart problems, just like drinking red wine.
Can include red wine, lemon, cut oranges, lime, sugar, orange juice, gin, triple sec, apples, raspberries, strawberries, oranges, etc.
Okay, so Sangria is not exactly a low calorie drink, but it has a lot of healthy ingredients to it. There are a number of Sangria recipes, but try to lean towards a recipe with less sugar and more fruit. The natural sugars in the fruit sweeten this ambrosia just as good as sugar does, only healthier.
We have already discussed the health benefits of red wine, so with that as a base, it is already fairly healthy. However, when you start adding fruit to it BAM, it is probably just as healthy as a Bloody Mary, just with more calories. Sangria is also a good way to get your daily dose of fruit for people who don't really like eating fruit.
Fruits like apples, oranges, raspberries, and strawberries which can all just be thrown into Sangria give it excellent flavor. The fruit also imbues the drink with vitamin C and quite the big list other vitamins, minerals, proteins and ect. If you want the fiber and to get the whole dose of vitamins from the fruit, don't forget to eat the fruit after you drink the Sangria. The fruit will also have absorbed some of the alcohol of the red wine, so it a nice treat for the health conscious drunk. Though if you are going to eat the fruit, you may want to replace sour fruits like lemons and limes with just the juice. They tend to blend in with the other fruits. So when you start eating the leftover wine soaked fruit, you could end up with a nasty sour surprise.