November 30, 2009

Look Out For Hidden Calories In Holiday Drinks

While many people think twice before taking a second serving of a delicious holiday dessert, they may not do the same when it comes to that holiday beverage. But liquid calories can quickly add up, said an expert at Baylor College of Medicine.

"Liquid calories have contributed to the obesity epidemic," said Dr. Rebecca Reeves, assistant professor of medicine at BCM. "It's difficult not to overindulge during the holidays because these types of beverages are more available."

Cut calories when possible

Reeves recommends being aware of the number of liquid calories consumed this holiday season, whether they come from alcoholic drinks, hot cocoa or even popular coffee drinks, and cutting calories where you can.

"Consider combining alcohol with a diet mixer or low-calorie tonic," she said. "Also remember to pace yourself, maybe by drinking a glass of club soda with lime between drinks."

After drinking alcohol, the desire for salty foods is also enhanced, said Reeves.

"You can enjoy the holidays in moderation," said Reeves. "Have a plan "“ don't go into a party starving."

What's a serving?

When it comes to popular cocoa and coffee drinks, Reeves says choose non-fat milk, skip the whipped cream and pay attention to portions. Different beverages are served in different size glasses and cups (see list below) so be aware of what you are drinking and how many servings you consume at one time.

She also noted that new research shows that liquid calories do not trigger the mechanism that indicates satisfaction.

"People tend to eat the same amount even after they have consumed calorie-filled liquids as they would without consuming those beverages."

Beverage Calorie Chart:

# 12 oz. soda = 150 calories
# 8 oz. wine = 150 calories
# 12 oz. beer = 150 calories
# 1 oz. gin, rum, vodka, whiskey or tequila = 65 calories
# 3.5 oz. martini = 140 calories
# 4 oz. margarita = 168 calories
# 1 tablespoon whipping cream = 50 calories
# 16 oz. Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino (with whipped cream) = 400 calories
# 16 oz. Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino (no whipped cream) = 290 calories
# 16 oz. Peppermint Mocha (with whipped cream and 2% milk) = 410 calories
# 16 oz. Peppermint Mocha (no whipped cream and nonfat milk) = 290 calories
# 16 oz. hot chocolate = 370 calories
# 1 cup eggnog = 343 calories


On the Net: