What to sip & what to skip: Your holiday cocktail cheat sheet


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Most holiday cocktails and party punches are loaded with sugar — a sure ticket to a hangover if you have one too many. But it doesn't have to be that way, says healthy lifestyle expert Kimberly A. Daly.

Try to stick to one alcoholic beverage per night if you can, and drink a glass of water after to help counteract the toxic effects on your body. (Or fill your hand with a mocktail — a glass of seltzer with fresh cranberries looks just as festive!)

Here, Kimberly shares her cheat sheet for the best beverages to sip and the ones to skip this time of year. For more tips, check out her blog, SomeKindOfRunderful.com.


Sip it… Spiked apple cider

Apples are a natural source of quercetin, a flavanoid that enhances the body’s ability to manage inflammation. A splash of bourbon or whisky dilutes the antioxidant power, but the calories in one serving (about 200) can easily be planned for by skipping a snack earlier in the day or eating a little less.


Skip it! Hot buttered rum

The scent alone can take you to your happy place, but this rich, warm cocktail isn’t so great for your diet. One serving can pack a whopping 316 calories and 8 grams of saturated fat. If you’re craving a mug of comfort, add a dash of liquor to a cup of white hot chocolate for about 180 calories and 3 grams of saturated fat.


Skip it! Eggnog

Like melted ice cream with a kick, eggnog is seriously delicious. But it comes with a hefty amount of calories and saturated fat — around 280 calories and 9 grams of fat, to be precise. Have a couple of sips if it’s a secret family recipe (it would be rude if you didn’t!); then put it down somewhere and get a nondairy drink instead.


Skip it! Mulled wine

You’d think this one would be OK, since red wine has been shown to improve heart health. But the sugar in this stuff makes a 1-cup serving jump to 300 calories and can cause an insulin spike. Save yourself from the crash and the next-day headache by having a plain glass of merlot (about 100 calories) instead!


Sip it… Cranberry punch

Anthocyanins in cranberries have been shown to stop age-related memory decline and boost mental function, and most recipes call for OJ and lemon juice which further pumps up the antioxidants. Still, it’s loaded with sugar so proceed with caution! Stick to ½ cup (about 100 calories) and fill the rest of your glass with club soda.