You can definitely have fun at holiday parties or family gatherings while looking out for your own well-being. It doesn't involve rocket science, but it does need careful and smart planning.
Dr. Lisa Cimperman, a dietitian at the University Hospitals Case Medical Center, suggests that men and women should partake in moderate drinking to prevent overindulgence. For women, it is advisable that they take one drink a day during the holidays. For men, she recommends two drinks a day.
However, Cimperman knows that some will not stick to these recommendations. With that, she said those who will spend their holidays drinking at events or at home should avoid drinks with high-calories and instead opt for low-calorie drinks.
"If you double the alcohol content, you double the caloric content of the beer," she said, adding that it is important to be aware of this because a lot of seasonal beers contain high amounts of alcohol and increase calorie content.
With information from Anna Daniels of the British Dietetic Association, we've listed down the best low-calorie beverages to help you enjoy holiday drinking without regretting it the next day.
Eggnog is made up of two cups of fat-free milk, one vanilla bean, two strips of orange zest, two large eggs, one egg yolk, one-third cup of sugar, one-fourth cup of white rum, and grated nutmeg. This drink contains protein, which helps the body build and repair tissues and create enzymes and hormones. The orange zest contains vitamin C and B vitamins. These help keep the eyes, liver and skin healthy.
2. Bloody Mary
This drink can be created with one tablespoon of olive oil, a juice of half a lemon, 160ml of tomato juice, a pinch of salt, a stick of celery, black pepper, Worcestershire sauce and red chilli.
Olive oil contains a nutrient called oleocanthal and a fat called oleate. The first helps reduce inflammation, while the second kick-starts enzymes that break down fat. Tomatoes are filled with lycopene, an antioxidant that reduces cell damage.
3. Maple Syrup And Blood Orange Punch
Maple syrup contains vital nutrients such as potassium, which can help maintain a healthy blood pressure and the efficient transmission of neurons. A study has found that maple syrup has five anti-inflammatory compounds that cannot be seen in other foods. Aside from that, maple syrup has chemicals that influence the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar.
Because of the blood orange, this cocktail will give you the suggested amount of vitamin C and anthocyanin, which reduces bad cholesterol.
4. Piña Colada
This cocktail is rich in antioxidants. Compared to green tea, yellow tea tastes sweeter and can lower cholesterols and provide nutrients that can fight against cancer.
The coconut water in a piña colada is high in minerals and fat-free. It contains magnesium and potassium for rehydration. Fresh pineapple meanwhile has manganese, a nutrient required for healthy joints and bones.
5. Kale Cocktail
Kale is high in vitamin A and K. The first is needed for healthy skin and eyes, while the second helps in bone formation. The lime, kale and lemon in this drink would give you the recommended daily amount for vitamin C.
6. Sweet Potato Bellini
Sweet potato contains a low glycaemic index as it releases energy slowly. Studies show that sweet potato may lessen episodes of low blood sugar in people with diabetes. With the sweet potato bellini, some of the nutrients of the sweet potatoes are retained, including beta-carotene. This nutrient is needed for healthy skin.
Tips For Holiday Drinking
Before you dive into parties and drink to your heart's content, you must remember to keep away from overindulging and drink water to stay hydrated. You should also add sparkling water in wine to lower the calorie-content.
"It's definitely fun to celebrate with friends and family but we all know the pain over overindulgence the next day," said Cimperman.
Remember, you can have fun, but it's best to drink moderately.
Photo: Peter Burka | Flickr