© 2003 Teresa Kellerman
Let’s party! Find new meaning in the term “Party Hearty” this year. If you would like to have a happy and healthy New Year, why not start right now! Your New Year’s Eve party can be a healthy start to a new way of celebrating – with less booze and fewer fatty calories. (Make this Fruity Fizzy by blending one strawberry, one ice cube and 1/2 C. sugar-free ginger ale for a 25 calorie alcohol-free drink.)
Drink light? Alcohol has more calories, ounce for ounce, than either protein or carbohydrate and only slightly less than fat. Additional calories come from the sugars and starches in beer and wine, the sweeteners in liqueurs and coolers, or the soft drinks used as mixers.
Know when to “say when.” The recommended limits for alcohol consumption established by the federal government are two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women. (1) The following standard drinks contains about one half ounce of absolute alcohol:
· a 12-ounce can of beer (4%-5%% alcohol)
· a 5-ounce glass of wine (12% alcohol)
· a 1.25 ounce shot of 80-proof liquor (40% alcohol)
· a 12-ounce wine cooler (3%-6% alcohol)
Not all drinks are created equal. Some beers like malt liquors and lagers have a higher alcohol content, and some bottles of beer are more than 12 ounces. A “light” beer might have only 25% less calories and alcohol than a regular beer. A quart bottle of beer is the equivalent of 3 drinks. A liter bottle of wine or a six-pack each contain 6 standard drinks. Some shots of liquor contain more than one half ounce of alcohol, and many mixed drinks contain several shots.
Limit: Zero. It is recommended that the following persons should not consume any alcoholic beverages: women who are pregnant or might become pregnant; people who plan to drive or engage in other activities that require attention or skill; people taking medication, including over-the-counter medications; recovering alcoholics; and persons under the age of 21 (1). Alcohol should not be consumed by people with a peptic ulcer, or by persons who have neurological disorders such as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Prader-Willi Syndrome, or other disorders in which impaired judgment is already present.
Get high on life! You can be a good role model for persons who need to abstain by staying sober with them. There are more ways to get high than with booze. Here is a fun puzzle to promote natural ways to feeling high on life: http://fasteen.com/puzzlenaturalhigh.htm
Healthy Drink Recipes: For alcohol-free drink recipes, here’s “Mocktails”: http://www.betterendings.org/Recipes/NonBev.htm
Healthy Hor D’oeuvres: For ideas on healthy eating at holiday time, read Party Pleasers: http://members.cox.net/pwsaa/Party.htm
(1) U.S. Department Of Agriculture/U.S. Department ot Health and Human Services. Home and Garden Bulletin No 232. Nutrition and Your Health: Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 3rd ed. Washington. DC Supt. of Docs., U.S. Govt Print Off., 1990.
Prader-Willi Syndrome Arizona Association
FAS Community Resource Center