Posted Nov 20, 2010
HOW TO … MAKE HEALTHIER HOLIDAY DRINKS
Many people put on a few pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s – and it’s not just food that’s to blame. Popular cold-weather beverages also can be packed with calories, fat and sugar. “They can really add up and do a number on your waistline,” says Gloria Tsang, a Washington-based registered dietitian. Here are tips from Tsang and other nutrition experts to make drinks healthier:
Substitute ingredients. Hot chocolate and eggnog still taste great with low-fat or skim milk instead of whole. You can also use egg substitutes in eggnog and keep it liquor-free.
Take advantage of antioxidants. Look for hot chocolate mixes with dark chocolate as the first ingredient; they have more flavonoids, compounds that can reduce inflammation linked to heart disease. Add some cinnamon to hot apple cider to help improve blood sugar and cholesterol levels. And drink a glass of red wine for antioxidants that may protect against heart disease and eye problems.
Stick to small sizes. Think of treats such as eggnog lattes and mochas as desserts, not drinks.
Beware of mulled wine. Adding sugar and spices to wine boosts the calorie count: a 5 oz. glass of mulled wine has about 175 calories, compared to about 125 in a glass of red wine. Have one small glass of mulled wine and then stick to plain – or water.
Hold the toppings. Cutting whipped cream from a drink such as peppermint mocha can save 60 to 70 calories and six to seven grams of fat, Tsang says. Apple cider without added caramel has about 25 fewer calories a cup.
Mix in zero-calorie drinks. After enjoying one sweet drink and maybe a glass of wine, stick with water or diet soda.