A nutritionist’s guide to alcohol

With the holiday season quickly approaching, drinking alcohol can become a more regular part of our lives over the coming months. While drinking is often a social event, it can be easy to overdo it, leaving yourself feeling like you’re on struggle street the next day!

The JSHealth philosophy means you can definitely enjoy the pleasures of life – even if that means a glass or two of wine on a night out.  I advocate everything in moderation! Personally, I try and keep weekdays alcohol-free, and then enjoy two or three glasses of wine per evening on weekends. I do love me a dry Rosé 😉

It is definitely possible to drink in moderation and choose healthier alternatives, so you don’t feel the need to do a huge cleanse or spend days recovering post-drinking.

Here is my guide of what drinks to choose:

Opting for spirits?

Go for gin, vodka or another clear spirit with some soda water and fresh lime or lemon.

AVOID : sugary cocktails, mixers, fruit juices and cordials – stick to clear spirits with added soda and fresh lemon or lime!

Clear spirits have the least calories in them. Mixing these with soda water helps you avoid all the sugar and nasties found in soft drink mixers and cocktails. These are the things that make the calorie content go through the roof! A vodka soda, on average, has around 65-80 calories, compared to a glass of wine with around 115 calories, and 163 calories for a creamy liquor.

More of a wine drinker?

Preferably opt for organic red wine. Red wine is high in antioxidants, and lower in sugar than white wine and champagne. It is even beneficial for heart health (when enjoyed in moderation).

TOP TIP : Even better – go for the organic or natural variety. These have less preservatives than regular wine. I also find wine from France gives me less of a reaction or hangover – they don’t add as many sulphates or preservatives!

There’s a huge movement in the natural wine space in Australia at the moment. Farmers are focussed on creating incredible wines in a way that is gentle on the environment, and contain minimal preservatives. It’s a huge yes from me!

Just remember, alcohol and eating healthily don’t go hand in hand. Your body processes alcohol before food, meaning the carbs and fats you’ve eaten are stored as fat, instead of being used as fuel.

I definitely believe socialising and enjoying yourself is important – even if it involves a few glasses of wine. But drinking should be a rare indulgence, not something done too regularly or to excess.

I hope this helps guide you next time you raise your glass – cheers!

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