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Raise A Toast

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

If you’ve been invited to a party smack in the midst of your latest attempt at sticking to a healthy diet, then choose these diet-friendly drinks, says Dev Goswami

One of the reasons that alcohol can prove so detrimental to your health is its calorie content. So, conventional wisdom suggests that if you’re on a diet, it’s best to avoid alcohol — not only does drinking it lead to consumption of excess calories, it can also result in overeating, as you dive into a bag of chips to beat the alcohol-induced hunger. However, a few cheat days never hurt anyone (in fact, they can actually help you stick to your diet), so there’s no need to put a blanket cover on drinks. Here are a few drinks that will allow you to enjoy a party, without completely ruining your diet.

Red Wine
Red wine, with its mildly sweet taste, may seem like an unlikely contender for a calorie-friendly drink. But, one glass of red wine has merely 100 calories (approximately), which makes it alright to consume in limits. An easy way to enjoy a glass or two (no more!) of red wine, without piling on the calories, is to drink it along with your dinner and think of it as your quota of starch — so avoid bread, pasta and potatoes, and stick to lean proteins and non-starchy vegetables.

The next time you’re at a celebratory party, don’t be reluctant to enjoy a glass of bubbly. Not only is champagne low in calories, the foamy head that forms while it’s being poured into a glass, ensures that you drink less than the amount that you think that you’re drinking. Of course, this theory falls flat if you keep going back for seconds.

We usually refrain from mentioning specific brands when we’re writing such articles. However, Guinness beer deserves a special mention. A pint of this beer contains around 125 calories, which is much lower than most other types of beer. Another reason that this beer deserves a mention is because of a study conducted by the University of Wisconsin, which found the presence of certain antioxidants in Guinness beer. The study claims that these antioxidants can help prevent the kind of blood clotting that is known to lead to heart attacks. So, if beer is your poison and you’re on a diet, get your hands on this beer, which though rare, isn’t impossible to source in Mumbai.

Rum/ Whiskey/Vodka with water
One of the reasons that alcoholic drinks are best avoided is that most of these drinks are consumed with mixers that are loaded with sugar and calories. You can make your drink healthier simply by cutting out the fizzy, sweet beverage that you use as your mixer. Mixing your spirits with water is a fantastic idea — not only will this cut down on the calories you consume, it will also save you from a hangover the next morning. If you absolutely need some sort of fizz in your drinks, pick plain club soda. Also, while choosing your spirits, remember that the lower the alcohol proof is, the lower the calories are. So, a 40 proof spirit is a better choice than a 60 proof option.

Martini/ Mojito
When it comes to picking a cocktail, choose from the two Ms — martini or mojito. The former is essentially a  spirit (usually vodka) mixed with vermouth and olives and so, it is one of the healthiest alcoholic drinks. A glass of mojito, on the other hand, has the same amount of calories as a glass of red wine. It does contain a little sugar, but it won’t derail your diet and so, you can pick this drink the next time you’re at a party.

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