Think back to your last holiday celebration. There was, of course, the requisite table groaning under the weight of all dishes. As if that weren’t enough, there were probably a dozen different dessert options, a fridge or cooler full of sugary drinks for the kids, and another cooler full of just as sugary drinks for the adults. If you have a health condition that requires watching your sugar intake (or you just want to stick to your healthy eating plan), the holidays are some of the very worst times to try to eat and drink according to your dietary needs. In our previous blogs, we’ve given several tips and tricks to making healthier low sugar desserts, but those drinks can be just as harmful to your low sugar needs. Here are a few of our favorite drink options that pair well with low sugar desserts so you can enjoy the holidays without destroying your diet!
Let’s Talk Drinks
If you’ve been on your low sugar diet for any time at all, you’re already acutely aware of just how sugary sodas, premade teas, and even sports drinks can be. What so many fail to realize is that alcoholic drinks can have just as much sugary content, if not more! Part of this is that most drink mixes are just as sugary as sodas, but the other part of this wicked combo is that alcohol converts to sugars in your body, so even that vodka tonic is going to have some sugar content as your body processes it. What this means for a low sugar diet is generally being aware and making healthy choices when you do drink, so you’re not accidentally pairing your low sugar desserts with mega-sugary drinks.
Low Sugar Drinks
When it comes to picking low sugar drinks to pair with your low sugar desserts at a holiday celebration, the best way to go about it is to pick the simpler drinks. The fewer things mixed in to make a drink, the lower the likelihood that it’s going to be sugary – within reason, of course! The exception to this rule is going to be anything made with a pre-made drink mix, unless you find a low/no sugar mix.
In addition to mix-ins, the alcohol content of a drink will affect the amount of sugar involved. The lower the alcohol content and calories, the less sugar your body will take in. That does not mean, however, that a drink with a lower alcohol content means you can drink several more of them in a row and not feel the sugary effects. You’ll want to track both alcohol content and quantity alike if you’re concerned about keeping your sugar intake down.
Choosing The Right Drink
Alcoholic drinks are an integral part of holiday celebrations just as much as the food. In the same way that you’ve learned substitutions to find or make better low sugar desserts, you can make alterations and substitutions to your drinks to make them healthier and lower in sugar without losing out on taste.
Use Natural Ingredients
Instead of grabbing a bottle of drink mix at the store, grab your own! Instead of a pre-prepared Bloody Mary mix, make your own; it’s as simple as mixing together fresh tomato juice, horseradish, and a dash of lemon juice, which you can season to taste. A margarita is another one that you can make at home and cut down on sugar. After all, a margarita is just tequila, lime juice, and ice. If you want a bit of sweet, add a tinge of orange or other fresh fruit rather than reaching for the sugar bowl. On that same token, you can make your own sangria without any added sugar by choosing fresh (not canned) fruits and letting it all steep together longer.
The other option for low sugar drinks is to choose cocktail options that don’t rely on sugary mix-ins to be delicious. A Dark and Stormy is simply dark rum and ginger beer, which makes it a great spiced drink for the holidays. Pick a low/no sugar ginger beer to really cut back on sugar. Other no- or low-sugar cocktails include a Manhattan, a no-sugar Tom Collins, or a White Russian (made with milk rather than cream for lower calories).
Between low sugar desserts and these easy drink alterations and replacements, you should be able to survive the holidays without destroying your healthy eating plan. To get the best low sugar desserts and healthy pastries, find a Lord de Pastry distributor near you!