Turns Out, You Can Still Imbibe and Stick to Your Diet
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You’re consistently meal prepping with vegetables and lean protein, you’re crushing your workouts, your mindset is the best it’s ever been… getting your health in check is a huge accomplishment that should be celebrated but maintaining a healthy diet plan and exercise regime should be sustainable and suited to your lifestyle.
If that includes cracking open a can of beer with friends or indulging in a little wine over dinner, don’t sweat it! You’ve probably heard of the health benefits of the occasional glass of wine or the gut-friendly properties in tequila — and that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to diet-friendly booze.
“Many wines contain a high amount of sugar. Chronic and high sugar consumption can lead to issues like gut dysbiosis and inflammation. However, wine has the benefit of potential antioxidant properties if certain types are chosen,” explains Lisa Richards, nutritionist and author of The Candida Diet.
According to Richards, this is true specifically for red wines as they contain a plant compound known as resveratrol. Resveratrol has been significantly linked to improved cardiovascular health by lowering blood lipids. These benefits are discounted, however, if overconsumption occurs and creates health complications in other areas of the body… so drinking in moderation, regardless of your specific dietary plan, is really the best way to imbibe without canceling out all your hard work in the kitchen or at the gym.
“The alcohol aspect of beer and wine impact the body in similar ways. In regards to gluten and yeast these two drinks may impact the body, specifically gut health, differently,” adds Richards. “Beer is commonly made with a variety of glutinous grains. This can be an issue for anyone prone to inflammation or with a gluten sensitivity or allergy.”
Looking for something that will suit your specific sensitivities, allergies, or diet plan? We’ve rounded up some of the best booze options for the most common diets and nutrition plans. From low-calorie and Keto-friendly to vegan drinks and even booze that’s good for your gut health, here’s what you should be sipping on if you’re hoping to keep your diet on track without sacrificing a drink or two.
Which Alcohol is Best for Your Diet?
Portion-Controlled Fun Wine
Low calorie and alcohol don’t often find themselves in the same sentence, but if you’re following a low-cal diet plan, the easiest way to stick to your goal is by way of portion-controlled beverages like canned wine or cocktails. Fun Wine is a great option. It’s available in, well, fun-sized 330ml aluminum bottles and comes in at just 59 calories per 5oz pour (a typical glass of wine is about 150 calories). The flavor-packed wine coolers are also made from all-natural ingredients — which makes them even more appealing in our books.
Doña Vega Mezcal
Mezcal is the cleanest and "healthiest" alcohol available. It’s produced with 100 percent agave and has the lowest sugar and calorie count, as opposed to Tequila, which can sometimes be filled with alternative sugar sources. Doña Vega takes this philosophy a step further by hand-selecting only organic agave piñas in its small-batch, farm-to-bottle production process in Oaxaca, so not only is it sugar-free, it’s actually pretty good for you (feel free to tell yourself that as you take your second or third shot).
Navigating a keto diet while drinking is no small feat. Most beer, cocktails, and mixed drinks are out. Most wine is a no-go. Hard seltzer, on the other hand, is a pretty safe bet. Nude Beverages, in particular, offers a clean, ready-to-drink beverage that’s vegan and keto-friendly, with 0 carbs and just 100 calories a can. The convenient cocktail is made with a premium alcohol base, all-natural ingredients, and no added sweeteners to boot.
Joker Brewing’s Hard Kombucha
There are a number of reasons why hard kombucha is a healthier option than wine or beer, but one of the key factors is that it’s super high in glucaric acid and vitamins, which are beneficial to the liver and aid in detoxification. In fact, drinking hard kombucha has been known to lessen the impact of a hangover significantly — even if you go a little hard. Joker Brewing’s Hard Kombucha is naturally vegan and gluten-free but it’s also at the low end of calories and sugar for alcoholic drinks.
Vodka-Based Grey Goose Essences
Grey Goose Essences is a great option for anyone looking for a lighter liquor drink, but particularly those who are looking for something gluten-free that deviates away from GF beer. Low-ABV with no added sugar, carbs, or gluten, it’s the perfect spirit for those craving healthier options to sip mindfully—but who don’t want to sacrifice flavor.
Gérard Bertrand Naturae Wine
Gérard Bertrand is always going to be your best bet when it comes to biodynamic wine at an affordable price point. The French winemaker’s latest Naturae wine is vegan, sulfite-free, and certified organic — without sacrificing the flavor profile you’d expect from a fine French wine. We like the Naturae Chardonnay, in particular, which is aromatic and fresh due to the Languedoc-Roussillon climate where the vineyard is located.
Santa Margherita Prosecco
You’d be surprised how many booze options are not considered plant-based or vegan! Thankfully, these days most vegan-friendly options (especially wines) include a vegan label printed on the bottle for plant-based drinkers to decipher more easily. Santa Margherita, for example, offers a variety of low-calorie options, from a dry white wine like its beloved Pinot Grigio to a bubbly sparkling wine like its Prosecco Superiore DOCG — both of which contain under 115 calories in one standard pour. The real kicker here is that Santa Margherita wines are not just relatively low calorie for wine but are also totally vegan-friendly.
Yobo Soju is made by hand using a zero-automation process on the breathtaking eastern shore of Seneca Lake. Nothing during the production of Yobo Soju is on a timer or predetermined—with human experience being credited to the level of quality Yobo strives for. What’s more, unlike most traditional sojus imported from Korea, Yobo Soju contains no sulfites, preservatives, additives, or sugars—making it totally guilt-free.
Following a Very Strict Diet
Frankly Organic Vodka
Following a very, very strict diet? It can be tough to find something that accommodates your needs, but Frankly Organic Vodka is a great place to start. The award-winning 100 percent organic vodka is the first spirit brand in the world to include ingredients, along with nutritional content, on their label – so you know exactly what you’re drinking – from calories to sugar content. Frankly is also organic, non-GMO, gluten-free, and kosher, and contains no refined sugars, artificial flavors, or colors. Certain varieties even include health-centered ingredients such as anti-inflammatory turmeric, adaptogenic maca, and soothing ginger roots.
Zero-Proof DRY Botanical Bubbly
Sure, alcohol-free drinks can be a drag when everyone around you is imbibing in the hard stuff… but if you’re sticking out a dry month, you’ve quit drinking, or you’re working in solidarity with your pregnant partner, you know the importance of a good dry bev, and thankfully, we’ve found something sophisticated that puts your too-sweet wine and watered-down beer under the table. DRY Botanical Bubbly from DRY Soda Co is a beautifully crafted, lightly sweetened non-alcoholic beverage that actually tastes good and feels sophisticated. What’s more, it’s made with just four ingredients and it’s also gluten-free and vegan.
Balanced Offering Cocktail
Tequila Don Julio x Barry’s Cocktail Kit
Even if you choose alcohol that complies with your current diet, if you are making a cocktail and throwing in a bunch of other ingredients your efforts might go to waste. Luckily, this cocktail kit is here for you. Barry’s CEO Joey Gonzalez shares that the kit includes "Tequila Don Julio, a sugar-and gluten-free choice, and Vita Coco Coconut Water, which is rich with nutrients such as electrolytes and potassium to replenish, rehydrate and recharge after a workout."
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