It's easy to blame winter weight gain on holiday cookies, but festive foods and rich desserts aren't the only culprits. Sugar-sweetened beverages (soft drinks, sports drinks, sweetened teas, etc.) are a factor in excessive weight gain. Cozy, warm winter drinks, such as hot chocolate, eggnog, flavored coffee and cider, can be full of sugar and fat too.
At 500 calories, a Starbucks 16-ounce eggnog latte has almost twice the calories of a regular-size (2-ounce) Snickers bar. A cup of rich hot chocolate can add up to 13 Hershey's Kisses.
Cut the extra sugar, fat and calories from winter drinks with EatingWell's healthy winter drink recipes so you can eat, drink and be merry and healthy.
Here are four of our favorite healthier classics:
Spiced Hot Chocolate
4 cups prepared hot cocoa with 1% milk
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
4 cinnamon sticks
Combine cocoa, nutmeg and chili powder. Pour into mugs and serve with a cinnamon stick.
Makes 4 servings.
Per serving: 175 calories; 4 g fat (2 g sat, 1 g mono); 12 mg cholesterol; 30 g carbohydrate; 8 g protein; 1 g fiber; 161 mg sodium; 487 mg potassium. Nutrition Bonus: Calcium (30% daily value).
EatingWell's Eggnog: Our eggnog recipe makeover keeps the flavor and thick creamy texture of traditional eggnog, but cuts back on calories and fat by a lot. Plus, our version is safe (no worries about salmonella) because the eggs in our recipe are cooked then cooled.
Mulled Apple-Cranberry Cider: This apple cider drink is the perfect warm, spiced drink after being outdoors in the cold weather.
Spiced Coffee with Cognac: Infused with cloves, cinnamon and citrus, this Cognac-spiked coffee is great for winter entertaining.
By Michelle Edelbaum
Michelle is the associate editor of interactive for EatingWell Media Group. In between editing and writing, she enjoys sampling the tasty results of the easy, healthy recipes that the EatingWell Test Kitchen cooks are working on.
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