Healthy Swaps: Summer Cocktails

by in Healthy Tips, July 27, 2011
Sangria is a fruity summer cocktail that isn't full of sugary fruit juice.

There’s nothing wrong with sipping on a cocktail or two, but rising temperatures and summer festivities can tempt you to overdo it. When you combine lots of alcohol with sugary juices, sodas and other high-calorie mixers, it’s a recipe for a diet disaster. Make smart choices for those alcoholic bevvies  – try our healthy swaps.

Instead of: Traditional margaritas
Choose: Lighter versions – try lower calorie mixes with tequila included (such as Jose Cuervo Authentic Light Margarita) or the Healthy Eats from-scratch recipe
The Payoff: Slash the calories by more than 50%

Instead of: Pina Coladas
Choose: Our frosty and creamy slimmed down recipe
The Payoff: A savings of 450 calories and nearly 5 grams of fat per serving

Instead of: Martinis
Choose: One shot of vodka (1.5 fluid ounces) on the rocks with olives or a twist
The Payoff: At least 200 calories LESS per cocktail

Instead of: Fruity rum drinks
Choose: Sangria
The Payoff: Less calories from booze and fruit juice, plus some real fruit to munch on

Instead of: Beer
Choose: Light Beer
The Payoff: Fifty calories less per can or bottle. If you drink one beer a day, you’ll  save 18,250 calories over a year — that comes out to 5 pounds

Looking for a tasty light beer? Check out the results of our light beer taste test

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana’s full bio »

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Comments (12)

  1. CoupTessa says:

    Can't think of an easier way to lose 5 lbs than by switching to light beer.. tastes better anyway! If only all weight loss was this easy :)

  2. Laura says:

    Many bars will now make "mocktails" – alcohol-free versions of their cocktails. They are pretty tasty and it's a great way to keep the party going without the added calories (not to mention the hangover!).

    I also like to infuse vodkas with fruit and drink them with club soda for a refreshing summer drink.

  3. Rick says:

    I've started asking for Skinny Margaritas. So far, every restaurant I've tried has know what I meant. They use just the tequila and lime juice – no mixers. It tastes better to me (I never liked really sweet drinks anyway) and it's much better for me.

  4. Anonymous says:

    "Mocktails" are no bueno. It's not the alcohol that's so bad for you in mixed drinks- it's all the sugary mixers and juices. You'd end up better with less carbs (and more fun) if you just got a glass of wine or a light mixed drink.

  5. Lady Gray says:

    This is my favourite healthy cocktail, it's packed with Vitamin C.

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  7. Can't think of an easier way to lose 5 lbs than by switching to light beer.. tastes better anyway! If only all weight loss was this easy :)

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