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Calorific drinks: Making better alcohol choices during the Christmas season

There’s a lot of focus on eating smarter during the festive season to prevent weight gain.

But nutritionist Karen Inge says we’re forgetting a big part of the picture.

“I think where people can make a really big difference, if you still want to enjoy the festive fare, is really look at alcohol,” she told 3AW’s Denis Walter.


Aperol Spritz

This popular drink made with soda water, aperitif and prosecco, which has fewer kilojoules than other sparkling wines, is a refreshing and relatively low kilojoule choice.

“Aperol, which is really like a digestive is not ‘healthy’ but it’s really not bad for you,” Karen said.

“It’s got a bit of prosecco in it, and then it’s topped with soda water and a slice of orange.

“That’s quite a good summer drink.”

Kilojoules: 520

Vodka Soda

This is a popular classic with the weight-conscious.

“It’s the lowest in kilojoules, but some people find it a bit harsh,” Karen said.

But if the taste is too biting for you, it’s still a good choice with a dash of cordial added.

Kilojoules: 400

Bloody Mary

If you’re looking for a drink with a bit more nutritional value, the bloody mary is a great option.

“A bloody mary is actually a good drink if you want something a bit healthier because of the tomato juice,” Karen said.

“Tomato juice is actually quite high in lycopene. It’s a powerful antioxidant and it really helps men, particularity, with keeping their prostate healthy.

“Tomato juice can also thin the blood as well.”

Kilojoules: 585


Stay away from creamy drinks.

“What you need to be mindful of are all the creamy alcohol drinks, like piña coladas,” Karen said.

Mocktails can be a good option, but don’t assume they’re healthy!

“Be mindful of those too, because some of them contain a lot of sugar!,” Karen warned.

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Image: JGI/Jamie Grill