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Low Calorie Cocktails

Low Calorie Cocktails

Written by: Samantha McCarthy


The last two weeks I discussed some important summer topics regarding barbecues. This week, I’d like to discuss the most important one for many: alcoholic beverages. It’s finally starting to feel more like summer and for many, a cool, refreshing beverage hits the spot. No matter what you choose, wine, beer, or liquor, you are in for extra “empty” calories that could pack on the pounds. Follow the tips below to make sure you are choosing the best option for you, without expanding your waistline.


  • When choosing a liquor, clear is best.

Clear liquors, like vodka, tend to be the lowest in calories per serving. A typical serving of unflavored vodka is going to be around 100 calories. Darker liquors can be around 110 or more calories. Flavored spirits like a raspberry vodka can be over 125 calories per shot. A sweeter liqueur, such as Bailey’s, can be 150 calories or more.


  • Avoid sugary mixers.

This is where the calories really start to add up. Fruity cocktails like daiquiris and margaritas are loaded with sugar. Many of these drinks have more sugar than your favorite ice cream. Juices, sodas, and other mixers are sugar bombs so avoid drinks with too many of these. Opt for sugar-free add ins like soda water, fruit, or just enjoy on the rocks.


  • Drink regular wine. Avoid the dessert.

Dessert wines around 175 calories for just 3.5 oz. They are loaded with sugar as well to give them that sweet taste. Skip the dessert wine and stick with regular red or white wine. They have have about 150 per 6 oz. glass.


  • Go light on beer.

In today’s world, you aren’t trendy unless you drink craft beer. But that delicious hoppy craft beer is starting a war with your scale. Many of the heavier beers such as stouts and IPAs can have 250-300 calories per 12 oz. can. That’s a lot of calories in one can. Choose a lower calorie beer like many of the “light” brands. They are typically 100 calories a serving.


  • Lastly, mind your portions.

The general recommendation is one drink a day for women, two drinks a day for men. Here is what a typical serving looks like:


For more information about calories in your drinks, check out Nutrition Action’s table that has some common beverages listed and their calories:

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