Champagne is a good idea: Hurrah!
As a nutritional advisor I am often asked about alcohol, particularly for advise on how to work around the fact that not many of you want to go teetotal. So this week I am devoting my blog space to provide some advice on how to overindulge with health in the forefront of your mind.
I have spent a lot of time researching alcohol and discussing it with family and friends. I am without doubt the worst ‘drinker’ I know, I have the tolerance or a two year old and the attitude of a rebellious teenager where ‘no’ doesn’t quite compute with sense or reason. I try to apply a three strikes (drinks) rule. The problem is by strike three anything mildly fun or exciting is definitely a good idea, and so strike 4 is inevitable! Coupling this with severe intolerance I often feel the butt of my own jokes much to everyone else’s amusement.
So here I am sharing some sense on how to get boozy for those health conscious individuals:
Alcohol has absolutely no nutritional worth. It is 7k/cal per gram, fat is 9k/cal per gram just for reference, and good fats are essential for us to live – yet many of us try to reduce the fat from our diet in order to drink more of the good stuff!!
That being said there are some wiser choices that can be made. Red wine for example is said to contain some antioxidants, resveratrol is a flavonoid found mainly in the skins of grapes. Studies have shown resveratrol can raise levels of good cholesterol, support heart function and even has some immune supporting properties. Could we not eat some grapes? The good it does may well be out weighed by the booze factor – just saying! Please don’t accept research and think red wine is good for you – it is a wiser choice and one of my favourites but that is all. The deeper the colour and the dryer the taste, the better it is for you. Organic is really nice too!
Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chianti, have the highest counts of antioxidants.
I like this tip, become a connoisseur and take an interest. Take your time and taste what you drink, do you like it? By becoming connoisseur and understanding what you like you are less likely to guzzle for the sake of the buzz – we’ve all been there! Pinot Grigio pulls my stomach all the way up to my mouth – it is not the one for me but the one I spent my early twenties it drinking in restaurants playing the big girl game. And oh my days, my head!!
If wines not your thing spirits are a better option, they are distilled rather than fermented which means no additional sugar needs to be present and also why they taste bitter not sweet. Be careful when deciding on your mixer too – cocktails are famously sweet to taste but send your insulin levels on a roller coaster ride.
There are 9 teaspoons in a single can of fizzy, concentrated fruit juices are not much better. Slim lines and 0% added sugar drinks are filled with artificial sweeteners and short-wire our internal biochemistry. In short it tells our brain to expect sugar-load when there is none and so triggers the same hormonal response. The best option here is soda water and a squeeze of lemon or lime.
And finally Champagne…
Champagne contains less sugar than sweeter red or white wines. It is the best choice for a celebratory drink. (I know, I know – an excuse!)
Dry Prosecco may also be a smarter choice.
Gin or vodka with soda and twist of lime are low sugar options.
Avoid anything you know tastes sweet – beer, dessert wines, sherry, port, fruity mixers, artificially flavoured sweeteners (fizzy pop!)
Tomorrow I will be attempting to explain what happens in our body when we have a drink and how it is so detrimental to our health. It’s just a little food for thought and for me helps me understand why living the whole life isn’t just about the calories we consume and why skipping meals isn’t a license to binge at the weekend.