Healthy nibbles for happy hour

Drinks after work without wrecking your diet? On February 16, health and fitness website Fit Sugar shared tips on how to enjoy happy hour while maintaining your health goals.

First tip, when it comes to baskets of warm bread, slather on the hummus rather than butter. Not only will you save calories and fat (36 calories and 4.1 g of fat in a pat of butter vs. 26 calories and 1.3 g of fat in a tablespoon of hummus), but you'll also get protein and other nutrients from the chick peas.

Opt for shrimp cocktail (around 120 calories per serving) over fried calamari (350 calories per serving). Raw oysters with lemon juice are only 10 calories each. Instead of fries, select edamame (soy beans), "which gives you that hit of salt without the calories and fat," states the article.

Also, sip smartly to avoid overindulging in calories, sugar, and of course alcohol. Alternate alcoholic drinks with water, or choose a lower calorie drink. Health and news website MyHealthDaily recommends consuming no more than one drink for women or two drinks for men. Also be mindful of portions: a large glass of wine might actually be two servings rather than one. One drink equals one 12-ounce (355-milliliter) bottle of beer, one 5-ounce (148-milliliter) glass of wine, or 1.5 ounces (44.4 milliliters) of 80-proof distilled spirits.

A glass of red wine is a good choice: Among other health benefits, researchers at Johns Hopkins University in the US discovered that red wine "protects the brain from damage following a stroke." Research has shown that red wine can be good for your heart by helping to block the signals of molecules that can lead to the buildup of plaque in the arteries.

Alcohols such as vodka, whiskey, and rum have about 100 calories per shot, and four ounces (118 milliliters) of champagne has 96 calories. A martini can have 400 to 500 calories. If you're counting your calories for weight loss, use diet soda over regular soda, which can save you between 100 and 200 calories per drink. Or even better, use fresh orange juice to get a dose of vitamin C.

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A few videos with tips on staying healthy at the bar: