Alcoholic Drinks – Which ones should you choose?

25 June, 2018 ,

3. Avoid sweet drinks

When it comes to cocktails, the problem comes from added sugars such as juice, fizzy drinks and syrups. It’s therefore preferable to choose a cocktail with as few ingredients as possible, and that doesn’t contain added sugar. Have your alcohol on the rocks or mixed with a low-sugar drink such as sparkling water. Go for low-calorie cocktails like Mimosa, Bloody Mary, Margarita, Mojito, Gin Tonic, Vodka Soda or Dry Martini (these contain between 100 and 160 calories for a normal portion) and avoid calorific cocktails like Pina Colada (around 460 calories).

4. Choose wines that contain less residual sugars

Residual sugars represent the amount of sugar that remains in a liquid after alcoholic fermentation. The Société des Alcools du Québec provides the amount of residual sugars in most of its products. All you need to do is check out their data sheet. You can classify wines in four categories depending on their residual sugar content.

Classification of wines according on their residual sugar content

Residual sugar content Type of wine
0 à 4 g/liter Dry wine
4 à 12 g/liter Semi-dry wine
12 à 50 g/liter Semi-sweet wine
50 g/liter or more Sweet wine

Rosé wines aren’t necessarily sweeter than red or white wines. You’ll find wines in each category, whatever their color. If you want a wine with less sugar, simply choose a dry wine. When a wine is dry, it’s because it contains less than 4g/liter of sugar. By comparison, an ice wine or dessert wine contains between 150g and 250g/liter. That said, if the sugar content seems high, you need to keep it in proportion to the portion. A portion of wine is 5oz (150ml). So, if you do the maths, a wine containing 50g of residual sugar per liter contains 7g for 150ml. So, if you stick to just drinking 150ml, the quantity of sugar remains reasonable, but of course this can rapidly increase depending on how many glasses you drink, or how big you make the portion.

This is even more important to consider for diabetics. It should be noted that the real quantity of sugar in an alcoholic drink doesn’t always correspond to the perceived quantity. Several factors need to be considered, for example how much acidity is in the wine, since acidity neutralizes the flavor of sugar. So, take time to check, because a wine that tastes less sweet doesn’t necessarily contain less sugar!

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Kathryn Adel

Kathryn Adel

Kathryn completed degrees in kinesiology and nutrition, as well as a Masters in Sports Nutrition. She is a member of OPDQ and of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She ran track and cross-country at a national level. Kathryn specializes in sports nutrition, weight loss, diabetes, as well as heart and gastrointestinal health. Kathryn is experienced with the low FODMAP diet and she completed the Monash University low FODMAP dietitian’s training.

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