5 reasons you should drink wine instead of cocktails this 4th of July
The 4th of July is one of our nation’s favorite holidays and for good reason. Nothing quite beats a warm summer night, freshly barbequed burgers, and a good, cold drink. With the grill fired up and friends and family around, throwing some patriotic cocktails in the mix sounds like the ideal combination. Besides, you may finally have the time to show off your bartending skills. Unfortunately, of all the drink combinations, your go-to cocktail is probably the least healthy choice. Keep reading to learn the five reasons why wine is better than cocktails:
Cocktails undressed – Looking at even the most basic cocktails, you find higher alcohol levels than you would in beer or wine. This matters because alcohol is high in calories, so a mere one-ounce of vodka, whiskey, or bourbon has 65-80 calories in the alcohol alone. Add to this the simple syrup, soda, and/or mixers used for the cocktail, and your calories have easily doubled. Needless to say, what may look like a better option than a soda could actually be worse. Your body will not process fat and carbohydrates when it’s already flooded with sugar and alcohol.
The culprit – SUGAR – Most summer cocktails feature sugar as a primary player. Keep in mind that simple syrup is “simply” sugar added to the drink – an addition that can send your blood sugar through the roof. Only complicating the negative impact to your health is that many drinks are consumed before people begin to eat; this order only leaves your body more vulnerable to the negative effects of a high sugar/ high alcoholic drink.
Wine for the win – You may be thinking “but wine has calories and sugar also,” and you would be right. The difference is in the amounts. Look at the sizes for starters – a 4 ounce serving of wine has only 77 calories, while 1 ounce of vodka has 65-80 calories alone, and that’s without the additional mixers featured in cocktails.
Which wine is best? It may be surprising to learn that red and white wines have the same amount of calories and net carbohydrates; neither type has fat, cholesterol, or sodium. Sangrias, on the other hand, have higher levels of sugar because of the additional ingredients and fruit, so they should be avoided just like cocktails. Check this resource for calorie breakdowns on some popular wines and hard liquors.
Health benefits – It’s no secret that red wine has long been touted for its health benefits, especially for cardiovascular health. Researchers have identified certain ingredients – like antioxidants and resveratrol – as the beneficial components. The good news is that white wine and most beers contain the same levels of antioxidants, so you don’t have to restrict yourself to a merlot when you really want a chardonnay. The bad news is that one serving – about 5 ounces at most – is where the benefits cap out; anything more and you’re doing more damage to your body than good.
With all decisions regarding alcohol, remember to be responsible and stay in control of your consumption. This 4th of July, celebrate the freedom that good health choices can give you with a lifetime of health and happiness.