How to Get Star, Spangled, Hammered this 4th of July with less calories!

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How is it already July 4th?! Summer always rolls around so quick and there’s just way too much fun to be had for the short amount of awesome weather we get (although it’s honestly been a little too hot here in MI).

Drinking is one thing I have decided I won’t be giving up. To me, it has too much of a social aspect and is usually involved in all things foodie adventures, so it’s just not something I am willing to part with at this point in time. Each person can make that choice based on what things are more important to them and what purposes certain food choices serve. It’s always a good rule of thumb to follow an 80/20 diet mentality; 80% good choices and 20% room for you to spend on some discretionary indulgences.  For alcoholic beverages here are some simple rules when partaking that may allow you to make better choices than others. If you are still deciding what to sip on out at the pool or lake today, here are some ‘swapportunities’ you might be willing to try that will have less impact on the waistline:

Beer 

If going with beer here are a few low calorie and higher calorie choices. Although, it still depends on how many you drink 🙂 In general, light beers are lower in calories while stouts and ciders can really add up quick.

Under 100 calories: Budweiser Select 55, Miller 64, Michelob Ultra, Miller Light, Corona Light, Yuengling

Over 150 calories: Blue Moon (my favorite, so sad), Heineken, Sam Adam’s lager, Soft Parade, Oberon

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Liquor/Mixed Drinks

Straight alcohol contains 7 calories/gram, compared to carbohydrates and proteins which have 4 calories/gram and fat which has 9 calories/gram. So you can see how a more potent drink like shots or mixers can also pack on calories, especially when mixed with something high in sugar like juice or soda.

Margaritas: Instead of buying premade mix which can be extra sugary, try Margarita flavored Crystal Light or flavoring packets mixed with water, or even a lemon/lime soda water with Tequila to avoid additional mixer calories.

Moscow Mules: Instead of Ginger Beer which is almost  200 calories and 45g sugar per can, use diet Gingerale mixed with vodka and fresh lime slice.

Gin and Tonic: Use soda water over tonic water (which contains additional sugar)

Mimosas: Use orange water flavorings or squeeze a fresh orange with soda water into your champagne vs. all orange juice, which is high in sugar.

Long Islands: I can’t help you here – it’s allll boooze 🙂

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Wine

When it comes to wine, the sugar content can be high, but overall this may be the best choice. With a smaller serving and high alcohol content you may not drink as much. It also contains potential health benefits that liquor and beer do not, such as high concentration of antioxidants including polyphenols, flavonoids, and resveratrol. Red wine is usually higher in calories, but also has higher levels of antioxidant properties. Pinot Noir is a great choice with a high level of these antioxidants. Champagne and dessert wines are much higher in sugar and should be used in smaller amounts.

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Cheers! Have a happy, healthy Independence day!

Kate

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