It seems funny to be an acupuncturist, helping people strive for perfect balance and vitality to discuss alcohol, but the reality is most people will be drinking at least a few times during the holiday season. So, what should you choose if you don’t want to thwart your health goals?
Alcohol alone is not considered bad in Traditional Chinese medicine. It is harmful when it is combined with “snack foods,” salty foods, fatty appetizers, and bite sized desserts. Make sure that you actually want to have a drink, rather than being pressured. A good trick if you don’t want to drink is to say, “Actually, I am really thirsty and could use a big glass of water with some lemon in it!”
This usually satisfies your hosts desire to entertain you and avoids awkwardness.
Here is a handy reference so that you can make some informed decisions!
Way to go Wine!
Clearly the best choice for potential health benefits with minimal calories and low sugar. Dry wine takes the number one place!
|Wine||Calories||Carbs||Per 5-oz Serving|
|Chardonnay||20||0.4 g||100 calories, 2 g carbs|
|Pinot Grigio||20||0.4 g||100 calories, 2 g carbs|
|Zinfandel® White Wine||20||0.4 g||100 calories, 2 g carbs|
|Cabernet Sauvignon||20||0.8 g||100 calories, 4 g carbs|
|Merlot Red Wine||20||0.8 g||100 calories, 4 g carbs|
Hard Liquor, the Mix is the Kicker
Hard liquor is actually not too caloric dense, keeping in mind the 1.5 oz serving. If you mix it with pop, or juice the sugar and caloric count jumps way up and may be considered the worst choice. Instead try mixing your spirits with sparkling water, or plain water and a squeeze of lime or lemon.
|Hard Liquor||Calories||Carbs||Per 1.5-oz Serving|
|Vermouth||32||0.2 g||64 calories, 0.4 g carbs|
|Coconut Rum||51||5.3 g||77 calories, 8 g carbs|
|Beefeater® Gin||65||0 g||98 calories, 0 g carbs|
|Rye Whiskey||69||0 g||104 calories, 0 g carbs|
|Scotch Whiskey||69||0 g||104 calories, 0 g carbs|
|White Rum||69||0 g||104 calories, 0 g carbs|
|Vodka||69||0 g||104 calories, 0 g carbs|
|Cognac||69||2 g||104 calories, 3 g carbs|
|Tequila||69||5.3 g||104 calories, 8 g carbs|
|Gilbey’s® Gin||79||0 g||119 calories, 0 g carbs|
Here is beer, portion size be clear!
Beer is the highest in sugar depending on which brew you choose. The darker the beer, the higher the sugar. The major culprit here is portion size. It is very easy to over-consume beer. Try nursing a smaller glass so you can keep more mindful of how many times you refill.
|Beer||Calories||Carbs||Per 12-oz Serving|
|“Light” Beer||9||0.5 g||108 calories, 6 g carbs|
|Draft Beer||12||1.1 g||144 calories, 13.2 g carbs|
|Lager||14||1.1 g||168 calories, 13.2 g carbs|
|Ale||18||1.1 g||216 calories, 13.2 g carbs|
Sweetened Liquor, you might get Sicker
Liquor tops the charts with the highest calories and most sugar. Just like beer portion size is important. Use with caution!
|Calories||Carbs||Per 1.5-oz Serving|
|Chocolate Liqueur||103||11 g||155 calories, 17 g carbs|
|Mint Liqueur||103||11 g||155 calories, 17 g carbs|
|Peppermint Liqueur||103||11 g||155 calories, 17 g carbs|
|Strawberry Liqueur||103||11 g||155 calories, 17 g carbs|
Enjoy the season!