Joined: 10 Feb 2005
Location: East Texas
|Posted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 5:20 am Post subject: Cheers! 5 Worst, 5 Best Summer Drinks
|Cheers! 5 Worst, 5 Best Summer Drinks
By Staff eDiets
A delicious, frosty beveragecan be super-refreshing and when it's hot and humid out, but beware: They can also be major diet busters. Sometimes that cool n' easy cocktail can have hundred of calories per glass... Gulp!
But don't fret... You can enjoy some summer sippers (with or without alcohol) and still stay slim this summer! We suggest skipping the booze: A serving of alcohol is one 5-ounce glass of wine, a 12-ounce beer or 1 1/2 ounces of sprits. All have about 80 (dry white wine or light beer) to 150 calories (regular beer). Multiply that by a few and the numbers really add up.
Now it's time to break out the ice and the blender and enjoy some seasonal, cool, refreshing and fun drinks!
Here are our top 5 summer drinks:
1. ... and Soda: The "clearer" the drink, the better for your waistline. Creamy drinks and those made with sweet soda or fruit juice automatically add calories. Clear spirits (about 100 calories per ounce) are what summer calls for. A refreshing vodka or gin and soda combine a bit of "spirit" with bubbles. Club soda is calorie-free; serve with a chunk of lime. My tip: Buy good quality spirits to make your drink special. Use less of the good stuff for greater taste satisfaction.
2. Beer or Wine: There's no doubt that sometimes nothing beats an ice-cold beer. Mmmm... Right from the frosty bottle or poured into a chilled glass! A "full-strength" beer has about 150 calories per 12 ounces; a light beer has only about 90. Chilled light white wine (80-100 calories per 5 ounces) such as Pino Grigio or Proseco goes perfectly with light salads or grilled fish.
3. Iced Tea: No, I'm not talking about the infamous Long Island Iced Tea, that mish-mash of alcoholic spirits and cola. Way too many calories there! I prefer brewed tea over iced tea mixes, although you can buy sugar-sweetened or artificially sweetened. And try herbal iced tea for a change of pace. Add your own sweetener of choice, such as clover honey or a little artificial sweetener. Don't forget the fresh mint and lemon for that extra special warm weather zing!
pagebreak 4. Bloody Mary: I love an iced tomato juice with seasonings. It's optional to add a jigger of vodka, but not required. Simply order your Bloody Mary "virgin" if you're staying straight. My favorite Bloody Mary is served in a tall chilled glass with 3 ounces of tomato juice and a dash each of fresh lemon juice, Worcestershire and Tabasco sauce. Pour it over ice and garnish with fresh lime.
5. Blender Beverages: When it's hot, break out the blender and whip up some cool delights. Whatever fruits suit your fancy, just cut it up and add to the blender along with a couple of cups of crushed ice and a cup of water. Strawberry smoothies are always a favorite. Make your own with 2 cups of crushed ice, 1 to 2 cups of cold water, a cup of strawberries, and a half-cup of nonfat plain yogurt. (Or use sugar-free vanilla yogurt for that extra yum!)
Now, let's take a turn for the worst...
An occasional drink can fit into any healthy diet, but too many rounds can lead to extra pounds. After all, alcohol has almost twice as many calories as protein or carbohydrate (7 calories compared to 4 per gram). Certain drinks are almost guaranteed to put on the weight.
1. Pińa Colada: There are almost 400 calories in this drink laden with coconut milk and rum. Skip it and have white rum with club soda, then dance the night away. You'll save 300 calories and burn a few, too!
2. Mai Tai: Another high-calorie (350 calories) fruit juice plus rum concoction. Instead, cut out 200 calories and enjoy a gin or vodka fizz -- that's a jigger of spirits with a dash of lemon juice and club soda, and a teaspoon or two of sugar. Shake and serve over ice.
pagebreak 3. Screwdriver: Vodka and orange juice. Sure it sounds harmless, but each cup of OJ adds about 80 calories; with the vodka you're over 200. Instead, skip the juice and have your vodka with club soda and a chunk of lime and save the calories.
4. Tonic: Although colorless, tonic packs a wallop of calories. It has about 150 calories per 8 ounces -- basically the same as full-strength soda! Switch to diet tonic or club soda and save calories.
5. Planter's Punch: Made with sugary sweeteners and fruit juices, alcoholic punches like this throw a punch to your gut. Instead, pour a tall class of iced tea, spike with a shot of white rum if you like and save 150 calories.
Now, I'll drink to that!
The bottom line: Most studies show we don't compensate for extra alcohol calories by eating less. In fact, if there are nibbles at hand, people tend to eat more when they drink. That's disheartening news for you dieters planning to balance your food and drink intake this weekend. Sorry, but booze revs up your appetite and can reduce your awareness of how much you're gobbling between gulps.
If you are dead-set on sticking to a dietso you can wear your swimsuit this summer, opt for good old ice water. It'll keep you cool, alert and lean.
Happy summer to all!
" Forget past mistakes. Forget failures. Forget everything except what you're going to do now and do it."