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Holiday Food and Health Tip #8: Make smart beverage choices

Posted 12/12/2008

By: Kerry Seymour, Area Nutrition Specialist

You’ve just about made it through the holidays, with just a few more gatherings and New Year’s to celebrate. Don’t give up now on making healthy choices, especially when it comes to beverages. How you quench your thirst can make a big difference in your calorie intake.

Alcohol is not only high in calories, it also lowers our will power, making us more likely to eat and drink more than we should. In addition, the mixers in mixed drinks contain a lot of sugar, which also boosts our calorie intake. Also, keep in mind that as alcohol proof increases, calorie content also increases. Here are some tips to help you keep your beverage choices in check:

  • Limit the number and size of drinks containing alcohol and sugar.
  • Order a glass of water along with your alcohol-containing drink. Use the water to quench your thirst, not the drink. Also, alcohol is dehydrating, so drinking extra water will help keep you hydrated.
  • Think spritzers. Wine spritzers made with a few ounces of wine, club soda and a wedge of lime taste good, look festive and are a calorie bargain.
  • Choose "light" versions of calorie-laden eggnog drinks, have only a small cup, and limit how often you indulge in them.
  • If you’re a fan of coffee drinks, ask for skim or 1% milk and sugar-free syrups. Skip the whipped cream.
  • Limit regular sodas and soft drinks. They contain a lot of sugar and calories, are dehydrating, and will just make you thirstier and more tired. Drink diet soda or water instead. Add a slice of lemon, lime or cucumber to freshen the flavor.

For more information on healthy eating and cooking, in western Nevada contact Kerry Seymour or Joe Dibble at (775) 784-4848. For more information in southern Nevada, contact Mary Wilson at (702) 257-5507. At Logandale, contact Penny Blair at (702) 397-2604.

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