Trousers too tight? Time to put down the IIPAs and hit the low calorie alcohol alternatives. When it comes to beating the battle of the bulge, the obvious answer is not always the most popular. Getting fit requires you to eat better, train harder and most importantly, drop the booze. But if you’re a fan of getting on the sauce, fear not. Despite what you may have read, the healthiest alcohols on the market will get you up while the scale goes down. Believe it or not, but you can actually have your beer and drink it too.
Calories in Alcohol
Let’s preface this exploration with a bit of knowledge, namely, n0 alcohol is ‘healthy’. Sure, some may be healthier than others, but if you really want to cut the kilos and achieve your final form, it’s best to avoid drinking entirely. That being said, moderation is the key to a fulfilled life and knowing the difference between the calories in vodka and the calories in gin could be all you need to make better choices.
In general, one serving of alcohol, whether that be beer, wine or liquor contains roughly 100 calories, or around seven calories per gram. Where that figure can dramatically differ is in the add-ons, mixers and flavourings added to the final concoction. Anyone who is chasing the healthiest alcohol on the market is advised to steer clear of the pre-mixed colas, simple syrups and sugary mixers.
According to the NHS, drinking four bottles of wine a month adds up to a yearly consumption of around 27,000kcal, which is equivalent to eating 48 Big Macs per year. Additionally, drinking five pints of lager each week adds up to 44,200kcal over a year, equivalent to eating 221 doughnuts.
Lowest Calorie Alcohol
It sounds scary, but your drinking could be the reason you aren’t making headway on your new year’s resolution. If you are on the hunt for the healthiest alcohol, however, we’ve got you covered. Here is a list of the 10 healthiest alcoholic drinks you can get stuck into.
The new kid on the block, seltzer has been gaining in popularity over the past few years. In the US alone, sales of the sparkling, flavoured drink have now exceeded USD$1 billion annually. For the lowest calorie option, look for a hard seltzer made through the rice-fermentation process. This formula means the alcohol is naturally occurring as opposed to just adding vodka at the end. From there, it can be infused with real lime or passionfruit, eliminating the need for sugary mixers.
Calories per serving: 100
If you’ve ever tried to cut down the beer-gut, chances are you’ve opted for the vodka, lime and soda, and for good reason. The hard liquor offers far fewer calories than brewed products like beer and cider, with some professionals suggesting heavier drinks will help you consume less alcohol. If you are looking for the lowest calories alcohol this summer, look for pre-made vodka sodas with zero grams of sugar. These options usually bottom out at just 99 calories per can, not bad for a hard drink.
Calories per serving: 97
Aside from being one of the lowest calorie alcohols on the market, tequila actually has some hidden health benefits as well. According to Independent the agavins, the natural sugar found in the spirit are non-digestible, which means they act like fibre and won’t raise your blood sugar levels. Further to that, the low calories in tequila will help you to lower cholesterol and may lead to weight loss.
Calories per serving: 69
As with most cocktails, it isn’t the liquor that makes your favourite gin and tonic bad for you. Moving to diet mixers is one of the best ways to cut down on calories while you’re drinking. Similarly, opting for sparkling water over tonic is a great option. For the lowest calorie gin, look for a product that is distilled using organic botanicals. Your tastebuds and waistline will thank you.
Calories per serving: 110
5. Red Wine
Remember when they used to tell you drinking two glasses of red wine a day was good for you? Well, that might not be the case, but red wine is still one of the healthiest alcohols you can drink. Polyphenols, resveratrol, and quercetinhe, the active compounds in red wine have been proven to improve overall heart health, with research done at the University of Massachusetts Amherst finding that red wine helps slow down the process of glucose hitting the bloodstream.
Calories per serving: 125
Pirates loved it and now you can too. Made from molasses and other sugarcane byproducts, rum isn’t exactly the lowest calorie alcohol, but it does have some other health benefits. Some organisations have claimed that a single serving of 1.5 ounces is enough to reduce anxiety, calm you down and give you a good night’s sleep, however, there is little evidence to support this.
Calories per serving: 97
We’ve known for a long time that red wine is loaded with antioxidants, but whisky shares a similar trait. In fact, studies in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Harvard University and the European Heart Journal found that whisky lowers the risk of heart disease. Additionally, whisky contains absolutely no fat, and hardly any carbohydrates or sugar, barely changing the levels of blood glucose. Harvard University even found that the alcohol, in moderate quantities, might even protect against type-2 diabetes.
Calories per serving: 105
Ideal for a summer spent on the balcony, rosè is more than just an afternoon elixir. Like red wine, the polyphenols have been shown to prevent atherosclerosis, helping to reduce the risk of heart disease. Further to that, studies have shown that It’s better than white wine because it has more antioxidants like resveratrol, which are found in the grapes’ skins.
Calories per serving: 147
Next time you pop bottles, you won’t have to feel bad about it. Despite having a relatively high sugar content, champagne offers some unusual benefits. For instance, recent studies from Alzheimer.net found that the bubbly drink may actually enhance your memory. According to the medical organisation, drinking one to three glasses of champagne each week can boost brain health. University of Reading professor Jeremy Spencer noted that champagne “Which lacks flavonoids, is also capable of influencing brain function through the actions of smaller phenolic compounds, previously thought to lack biological activity.”
Calories per serving: 89
Lowest Calorie Cocktails
Like we said, drinking hard liquor isn’t as bad as it may seem. For the most part, the calories come in when you add sugary mixers and sweet flavours. Here is a list of healthy cocktails for you to try at your next party.
- Tequila with fresh lime juice – Classic, sharp cocktail that contains fewer than 200 calories per serving
- Vodka, lime and soda – Perhaps the most well-known basic cocktail, the vodka, lime and soda is extremely low in calories and contains enough natural sweetness to not curl your lip
- Syrup-less mojito – By ditching the syrup in a mojito, you can cut the calories back in this classic cocktail from 170 to around 100
- Diet gin and tonic – A staple of barrooms across the globe, the gin and tonic is a favourite. To make the cocktail slightly more healthy, opt for a diet tonic.
- Martini – While the standard martini is quite low in calories, you can cut it down even further by removing the vermouth and adding a few more olives.
Tips for Healthy Drinking
Regardless of whether you’re drinking the lowest calorie alcohol on the planet or just your average, run-of-the-mill beer, there are some things you should take into account. According to the United Kingdom National Health Service (NHS), these are the basic steps you can take to ensure your drinking is not adverse to your health.
- Moderation – Do not regularly drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week
- Alternate – In between each alcoholic drink, have a glass of water – this will help to prevent you from becoming dehydrated.
- Eat – Do not drink on an empty stomach
- Snack smarter – If you do reach for snacks while drinking, choose a healthier option.
- Don’t do it alone – Try cutting down with a friend, as you’ll be more likely to stick to it with moral support.
How many calories are there in Tequila?
Generally, pure agave tequila is low in sugar. For this reason, an ounce of tequila has only 69 calories and no carbohydrates thanks to the distillation process.
What is the lowest calorie alcohol?
According to research, vodka is the alcohol with the lowest calories, at around 100 calories per shot. Whisky is slightly more, at roughly 110 calories, with gin and tequila also at 110 calories a shot.
Can you drink alcohol and still be healthy?
While alcohol is not inherently good for you, it is possible to enjoy a drink and remain healthy. For alcohol use to be considered low-risk and healthy, you have to stay within or under both the recommended daily and weekly limits. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans defines moderate alcohol consumption as one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.