Alcohol consumption can be bad for your health for a variety of reasons, which is why the recommended weekly limit for men and women is 14 units.
But even if you’re drinking within the recommended threshold, some alcoholic drinks can be full of more sugar (in syrups, flavouring, mixers and the alcohol itself) making them less of a smart choice if you’re conscious about your sugar intake.
Here is a list of some of the most popular high-calorie alcoholic drinks with suggested alternatives.
From Champagne over Chardonnay to martinis over mojitos, scroll down to see what you should be drinking instead.
Swap a Long Island Iced Tea (424 calories) for a Cosmopolitan (100 calories).
With an ingredient list that contains vodka, gin, rum, tequila, triple sec, and coke, it’s no wonder that a typical 420ml glass of Long Island contains a whopping 424 calories.
A Cosmopolitan has much less alcohol and only a small amount of cranberry juice, meaning a typical 250ml martini glass contains only 100 calories — less than a quarter of a Long Island.
Swap a Pina Colada (300 calories) for a Fuzzy Navel (120 calories).
Pina Coladas are the perfect beachside cocktail, but thanks to the added coconut and pineapple mixers, these drinks regularly contain a high calorie count of around 300 calories per 230ml.
A Fuzzy Navel contains just peach schnapps and orange juice, making it an ideal fruity replacement at around 120 calories per 115ml drink.
Swap a Mojito (242 calories) for a Martini (70 calories).
Mojitos are a summertime favourite, but thanks to the sugar syrup a typical 230ml glass can contain as many as 242 calories.
A Martini has no additional mixers, meaning that a 250ml glass only contains a measly 70 calories — providing you don’t eat the olive, of course.
Swap an Alcopop (253 calories) for a Diet Rum & Coke (115 calories).
Alcopops or coolers often contain heaps of added sugars, and an average 340ml bottle can have up to 253 calories.
For an equally sweet but lower calorie drink, a diet rum and coke can contain as little as 115 calories per 280ml serving, making this an ideal sweet alcoholic swap.
Swap your gin & tonic (170 calories) for a slimline gin & tonic (115 calories).
A gin & tonic is one of the UK's favourite drinks, but due to the added sugars of tonic water, a typical 210ml serving can contain about 170 calories.
A similar 210ml serving of gin & slimline tonic contains just 115 calories, saving you an average of 55 calories per glass.
Swap a sweet white wine (160 calories) for a glass of Champagne (89 calories).
The additional sugar in a sweet white wine means that a 175ml medium glass can average about 160 calories.
Champagne has one of the lowest calorie counts for a carbonated drink, with one 120ml serving containing only 89 calories.
Swap a vodka tonic (175 calories) for a vodka, soda, and lime (106 calories).
As with the gin & tonic, it’s the soda water that gives the vodka tonic a relatively high calorie count of 175 calories for 280ml.
Vodka, soda, and lime has no extra sugar and a low calories count of just 106 calories for the same measure.
Swap a Margarita (280 calories) for a Moscow Mule (120 calories).
Margaritas are another fashionable cocktail that sadly arent' particularly healthy, with 280 calories per 230ml serving.
Try swapping for an equally classy Moscow Mule, as these contain just 120 calories per 170ml serving.
[This article was first published in 2018]
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