Health on a Budget: Enjoy low-calorie alcoholic drinks in moderation

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You can have your health and drink alcohol too.

Let me be clear; alcohol is not some sort of healthy drink. According to the American Heart Association, there are some benefits to alcohol such as “The incidence of heart disease in those who drink moderate amounts of alcohol (no more than two drinks per day for men or one drink per day for women) is lower than in nondrinkers.”

So with moderation in mind, I wanted to review three of my favorite drinks and the associated calorie count.  Knowing how many calories are in your drink can help you step away from the very sugary cocktail and sip on something cost-effective and calorie-friendly.

Hard liquor

Out of the many kinds of distilled spirits on the market, I have a clear favorite; Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum.

For the rum, I prefer a shot – 1.5 oz – mixed with Diet Coke. Since I hate Coke otherwise, this says something about the rum. The spiced rum mixes well with the somewhat bitter Diet Coke, and at 86 calories per shot, that’s a pretty low-calorie drink, compared to most mixed drinks.

A 375 ml bottle of Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum is $8.99.


I resisted wine for a while, hating the common stereotype that women love wine and can’t handle other types of alcohol.

But frankly, wine isn’t a drink you’re meant to chug down. As I’m mostly a social drinker, no one feels the need to comment on me and my slow drinking habits if I’m drinking wine.

For a catch-up with my friends, my go-to white zinfandes Abor Mist Strawberry.  It has a much lower alcohol content than most wines at about 6 percent alcohol, and is 160 calories per 8 oz.

At $5.99 a 750 ml bottle of Abor Mist Strawberry, this wine is more cost-effective than many types of alcohol.


I have to admit; my beer experience is limited. When being polite, my friends call my type of beer “chick beer.” I lean toward sweet tastes, and the mix of sweet and sour in my favorites hits the spot after a long and hot run.

My hands-down favorite is Mike’s Hard Raspberry lemonade. The sweet raspberry taste is cut by the tart lemon and hint of alcohol, making me feel like chilling out in the sun. It is 150 calories per bottle, which I feel is pretty good for a fairly sweet drink, as Bud Lite is 110 calories but doesn’t taste half as good.

Purchased as single bottles, Mike’s Hard black raspberry is $2.05 for a 11.5 oz bottle.


Now with some new suggestions in mind, please be careful. A lot of problems that come from drinking are from a lack of planning ahead, such as, “How much am I drinking tonight? Am I staying the night, calling a taxi, or designated driver?”

So answer those questions as you get ready to get your drink on, and go out knowing you’ll be waking up the next morning ok.

*Prices are from local State Liquor store.