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A guide to low calorie alcoholic drinks

Alcohol is a high calorie substance, second only to dietary fats at seven calories per gram. It can be difficult to accommodate alcoholic drinks into a healthy and low calorie diet. However, if some simple guidelines are followed, it isn't impossible. Read this article for some lower calorie drink options.

Wine

Red, white and rose wine are all fairly low in calories, at under 100 calories per glass. Dry white wine is the best option when drinking wine, as it has around 85 calories in a small glass. Even sparkling wines such as Champagne only contain 100 calories in a small glass and around twice that in a large glass. The one to avoid is that seasonal favourite mulled wine, which packs 253 calories into one small glass.

Light beer

When considering what to drink on a low calorie diet, beer is nearly always ruled out straight away. We associate beer with the infamous beer belly, but it doesn't have to be this way. The general rule is that the calories in beer are directly related to the amount of alcohol in it. For this reason, low alcohol beers are better as a low calorie drink, and the special light beers are even better.

Spirits

Vodka has a reputation of being a “healthy” spirit, but the truth is that all spirits are similar in terms of calorie content. For people who like their spirits straight this is great, but anyone who prefers a mixed drink must choose their mixer carefully. It can really affect the calorie content of a drink and a standard cola mixer will add more than 100 calories. A flavoured vodka is a good alternative as it contains just five more calories per measure than plain vodka.

What to avoid

Having a low calorie drink is easier if you also know what to avoid. Premium or high alcohol beers tend to have very high calorie levels due to the extra alcohol. Alcopops are a terrible choice of drink as they are also so high in calories. These drinks have a high sugar content which tends to mask the flavour of the alcohol and give the drinks their sweet taste. However, the sugar also dramatically raises the calorie level of the drink to the point that a standard 275 ml bottle of alcopop contains four times the calories of a vodka shot. Irish cream is another drink to avoid, as the creamy flavour is highly calorific.

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