Holiday Drinks: High-Calorie Diet Busters (cont.)

Here's the rundown:

Per typical serving (2 1/2 ounces gin, 1/2 ounce vermouth, 1 cup ice, and 1 green olive):
185 calories
1 g carbohydrate
0.5 g fat
0 g saturated fat
0 mg cholesterol

Per 1-cup serving:
182 calories
5 g carbohydrate
0 g fat
0 g saturated fat
0 mg cholesterol

Per typical serving (1 1/2 ounces rum, 4 1/2 ounces club soda, 1/2 lime, 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar):
180 calories
22 g carbohydrate
0 g fat
0 g saturated fat
0 mg cholesterol

When it comes to alcoholic drinks in general, Christine Gerbstadt, MD, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, advises: "Don't drink on an empty stomach!" To cut calories, she also recommends drinking a no-calorie beverage in between your alcoholic drinks (like water, coffee, tea or diet soda).

Holiday Drinks Without All the Calories

The good news is that you can now find lower-calorie versions of many classic holiday drinks. Here are three options:

Light Lattes

For every high-calorie latte, there's usually a lighter latte. Take the pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks, for example. Order the 12-ounce pumpkin spice latte with nonfat milk and no whipped cream and suddenly you're talking about just 200 calories, 0 grams fat, 5 mg cholesterol, and 38 grams of carbohydrate (and 40% Daily Value for calcium is the bonus).

For those who like their festive drinks well chilled, a 12-ounce Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino LIGHT (blended creme) without whipped cream has 140 calories, 0 grams fat, 5 mg cholesterol, and 30 grams of carbohydrate (along with 30% of the Recommended Daily Value for calcium).

Light Eggnog

You can find light eggnog in supermarkets across the country. One cup will give you 240 calories and 5 grams of fat (2 grams saturated). This may sound like a lot, but it's a lot less than regular eggnog.

Sparkling Cider!

"Our sales of sparkling cider more than triple over the holidays," says John Martinelli, president of Martinelli's, which sells its sparkling apple cider and cider-and-fruit blends all over the United States. If you serve it in champagne or wine glasses instead of regular glasses, 8 ounces will seem like a full serving (instead of 12 ounces). An 8-ounce serving of sparkling cider has 140 calories.

Published November 26, 2007.

SOURCES: Alisa Martinez, communications manager, Starbucks Coffee Co., Seattle. Matt Raftree, beverage and bakery operations manager, Cheesecake Factory, Inc., Calabasas, Calif. Christine Gerbstadt, MD, RD; certified diabetes educator, national spokeswoman, American Dietetic Association. John Martinelli, president, Martinelli & Co. Watsonville, Calif. Starbucks web site. web site. ESHA Research Food Processor Nutritional Analysis Software.

©2007 WebMD Inc. All rights reserved.

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