From Cocktails to Champagne: AICR Tips for Holiday Health

cocktailsThe social whirl during the holiday season may mean drinking more alcohol than usual and more alcohol means more calories and added risk to your health. Alcohol is a cause of several cancers, including breast and colorectal.

So don’t let hefty calorie counts in these holiday beverages deal a blow to your health goals of weight maintenance and cancer prevention. How can you limit the damage from these rich drinks? Here are three tips for healthy holiday indulgences:

  1. Perfect Portion Size Management
    If you drink alcohol, stick to one serving of the standard drink: 12 oz. beer, 5 oz. wine or l.5 oz. hard liquor (80-proof). Remember that mixed drinks often include juices and other beverages for added calories. Fruit punches, sugary sodas and similar non-alcoholic drinks can pack a lot of calories too. In general limit these drinks to a single 6 ounce serving (3/4 cup) for best calorie damage control.
  2. Spruce Up the Seltzer
    Choose plain sparkling water and dress it up. Add pieces of fruit for a refreshing infusion; squeeze in citrus juice or add a splash of apple, grape or cranberry juice. Make a wine spritzer for a light and fresh beverage. When you host, stock the beverage bar with plain and sparkling (no added sweeteners) waters and arrange bowls of berries, cherries, citrus wedges, cut up pineapple, mango, kiwi and other colorful fruit, so people can make their own mixers.
  3. Carefully Consider the Choices
    Be picky about your beverage choices. If you don’t really like the super sweet punch being served, pass it up and go for a lighter choice. If you are partial to red wine but only white is available, wait to spend your alcohol choice on something you’ll truly enjoy. This strategy works for sweets and other high calorie foods too!

These strategies become second nature with practice. Choose to eat and drink what you really enjoy, in smaller portions, and be creative in finding new ideas for flavor and refreshment. For more information on portion size and our Green Tea and Cranberry Punch recipe see the latest Spotlight on Foods that Fight Cancer video.

Calories in Alcoholic Beverages
Fluid Ounces
Wine, red or white
Wine, sweet dessert
80-proof liquor, e.g. bourbon or vodka
Margarita, sour
Long Island Iced Tea

Source: Classic recipes analyzed by AICR using ESHA food processor.


From the AICR Test Kitchen: Healthy Holiday Drinks

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