Frequently we do not take into account the calories from the beverages we drink at parties. Thus, it is easy to “drink calories” in excess. This applies to alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
On one side, beverages may contain excess sugar or fat, such as chocolate, atole, fruit punch, packaged or homemade beverages. For a healthier preparation we suggest:
- Use low-fat milk instead of whole, evaporated or condensed milk
- Sweeten them slightly
- Avoid additional ingredients such as whipped cream, sprinkles or syrups
Prefer plain or mineral water, fruit-infused water with little sugar, as well as slightly sweetened tea or coffee.
On the other side, alcoholic beverages are also present during the Holidays. However, people should drink responsibly, considering that alcohol adds calories as well. Alcoholic beverages are measured in units. A unit equals 10 ml or 8 grams of pure alcohol* which corresponds to:
- 250 ml beer (4% ABV)**
- 76 ml wine (13% ABV)
- 25 ml spirits (40% ABV): tequila, rum, whisky, mescal
- 218 ml cider (4.5% ABV)
No more than 14 units per week are recommended, with a maximum of 2 units per day. Excess alcohol increases the risk of developing chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer, as well as traffic accidents.
In order to avoid drinking alcohol in excess, we suggest:
- Choose a non-alcoholic drink when you arrive to the gathering
- Eat something before drinking
- Alternate alcoholic with non-alcoholic drinks such as plain or mineral water, fruit-infused water, slightly sweetened tea or sugar
- Keep track of your drinks
- Drink slowly and enjoy your beverage
- Rehydrate: drink enough water before, during and after drinking alcoholic beverages
- If you want to decrease the amount of alcohol you drink, prefer having alcohol-free days
We recommend you to monitor the amount of beverages you drink to prevent consuming excess calories these Holidays. We also invite you to drink responsibly and choose a designated driver for you and your family to be safe.
*To calculate other beverages’ units, multiply the alcohol by volume (ABV) X volume (ml) and divide it by 1000.
**This percentage is found on the label
UK Department of health. UK Chief medical officers’ los risk drinking guidelines. August 2016. Available from: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/545937/UK_CMOs__report.pdf
Government of Canada. Healthy holiday eating. November 2013. Available from: http://healthycanadians.gc.ca/eating-nutrition/healthy-eating-saine-alimentation/tips-conseils/seasonal-saisonniers/holiday-eating-manger-fete-eng.php
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Helpful tips for healthy holiday parties. December 2013. Available from: http://www.eatright.org/resource/health/lifestyle/seasonal/helpful-tips-for-healthy-holiday-parties
American Heart Association. The holiday party survival guide. Available from: https://www.goredforwomen.org/live-healthy/heart-healhty-snacks-and-eating-on-thego/the-holiday-party-survival-guide/