What are some healthy holiday drinks?

Holiday gatherings can make it tough to stick to a heart-healthy diet. When at holiday parties, one “hidden” source of sugar and calories that you may not consider is drinks. The tips below can help you make better holiday drink choices and maintain a diet that benefits your heart health.

  • Drink low-fat eggnog to cut down on calories and fat. Or instead of milk in your coffee or black tea, try adding a little low-fat eggnog for an "eggnog latte." Or better yet, try mulled apple cider or ginger tea.
  • Limit alcohol. Moderation (one drink per day for women, two drinks for men) is important for overall health. But alcohol also provides extra calories and interferes with your ability to keep tabs on your food intake. You will drink and eat more calories than you mean to eat. If you do choose to drink alcohol, beer and wine generally are lower in calories than spirits mixed with soda or fruit juices.
  • Limit the amount of regular soda that you drink. One 12-ounce can of regular soda contains 150 calories (about 9 teaspoons) from sugar.
  • Limit drinks with added sugar or switch to non-nutritive sweeteners (Nutrasweet, Splenda, Truvia, etc.).
  • Drink water, unsweetened tea or coffee with meals instead of high-calorie beverages such as soda, juices or sweet tea.
Chad Kramer
Chad Kramer on behalf of dotFIT
Here are a few healthier, low-calorie alternatives that will help you make it through the temptations until your New Year’s resolution takes effect.

“Cranberry-Apple Cider (diabetic friendly)”
  • 4 cups cranberry apple drink
  • 1 to 2 packets of sugar substitute
  • ¼ cup frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed, undiluted
  • 8 sticks of cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. cloves
  • ¼ tsp. allspice
  • 6 lemon wedges, (about 2 large lemons cut in thirds)
Combine, cranberry-apple drink, sugar substitute, and lemonade in a large saucepan. Tie 2 cinnamon sticks, cloves, and allspice in cheesecloth and add to cranberry-apple mixture. Bring mixture to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove mixture from heat and discard spice bag. Garnish with lemon wedges and remaining cinnamon sticks, or add some fresh berries.

48 calories per serving. Makes 6 servings.

“Light Eggnog”
  • eggs (4 egg whites and 2 egg yolks)
  • sugar
  • 2 cups 1% low-fat milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg
  • ¼ cup white rum
Beat the egg yolks until lightened in color. Add 1/3 cup sugar, beating until dissolved; set aside. Combine milk, vanilla, 1 dash of cinnamon and 1 dash of nutmeg in a saucepan over high heat; bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, and gradually whisk into egg mixture. Return to pot, and cook to 160 degrees F. Remove from heat, stir in white rum, and pour into a bowl; set in the refrigerator. Beat 4 egg whites in a separate bowl until soft peaks form; with mixer running, gradually add 1 tbsp. of sugar, and beat until stiff peaks form. Whisk egg whites into chilled mixture; sprinkle with cinnamon.

148 calories per serving. Makes 6 servings.

“Hot Apple Pie”
  • 1 oz. apple cider
  • 1/8 oz. lemon juice
  • ½ oz. agave nectar
  • 1½ oz. Spiced Rum (vanilla)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
Stove-top directions: Heat lemon, agave and cider together on the stove. Pour in rum and grate cinnamon on top.

181 calories

“Christmas Cooler”
  • 1 oz. pomegranate grenadine*
  • 4 blackberries
  • ½ cinnamon stick
  • ½ oz. lemon juice
  • 1 oz. Tanqueray No. 10 gin
  • club soda
  • ice
Stir blackberries, cinnamon stick and grenadine together. Add lemon juice and gin. Shake with 2 ice cubes and strain into a glass filled with ice. Top with club soda and enjoy.

*To make the pomegranate grenadine, combine equal parts pomegranate juice and sugar. Cook on the stovetop until reduced by one third.

174 calories

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.