I Didn’t Know Sangria Could Be This Healthy [Recipe]

One of the reasons drinking wreaks havoc on your diet is because of the caloric content. Most drinks are packed with calories that will add to your daily intake but still leave you hungry for more food and drinks. Minimizing the calorie count in your drinks is one way to decrease the impact they’ll have on your body. This healthy sangria recipe does just that! The recipe below will serve up a delicious white sangria with fewer calories than many choices at restaurants and stores. Just how does this recipe for sangria stack up?

Our healthy white sangria recipe: Just 163 calories per serving (8 oz)

Compare with Longhorn’s Pomegranate Margarita at 440 calories per serving

Here’s how to make your own low-calorie white sangria to share with friends the next time you get together:

Ingredients For A Healthy White Sangria

  • 1/3 cup brandy
  • 1/3 cup peach schnapps
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 (750-milliliter) bottles white Rioja wine, chilled
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 1 navel orange, quartered and sliced
  • 1 green apple, cored and sliced
  • 1 ripe peach, peeled and sliced
  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle sparkling water, chilled

Mix in your other favorite fruits, like strawberries, cherries, etc. to create the perfect taste for you, without boosting the number of calories significantly.

Preparation For A Healthy White Sangria

  • Combine first 3 ingredients in a large pitcher; stir well
  • Stir in wine and next 4 ingredients (through peach)
  • Chill at least 2 hours or until cold
  • Stir in sparkling water and enjoy!

If you’re having sangria with friends or for a party, you can jazz the drink up a little by adding straws, ice cubes, and even a leaf of basil in each glass.

More About ‘Healthy’ Alcohol Consumption

Reducing your caloric intake while having drinks is great for your diet and will help you get the most from your exercise routine. But, changing your drinking habits can provide even more health benefits as well. Here’s a list of additional reasons to curb your drinking to improve your overall health:

Decrease long-term organ damage

While it’s true that moderate amounts of alcohol can actually improve your heart health, your other organs won’t appreciate it so much. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, here’s how alcohol can impact different parts of your body:

Your brain: Alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways and how it looks and works. The results can cause changes in mood, behaviour, and even cognitive function and coordination.

Your liver: You’ve heard jokes about how tough drinking is on your liver, but it’s actually true. Heavy drinking can lead to liver inflammation and even conditions such as alcoholic hepatitis, fibrosis, and more.

Your pancreas: When you drink, your pancreas produces a toxic substance that can eventually lead to pancreatitis–a condition that can prevent proper digestion.

Your heart: That’s right–even though moderate amounts of alcohol can be good for your heart, too much alcohol can be damaging. If you drink too much over a long period of time, it can eventually cause conditions such as high blood pressure, arrhythmias, and even stroke.

Excessive drinking can also lead to an increased risk of developing several types of cancer. The most common cancers include esophagus, throat, liver, and even breast cancer.

How Much Alcohol Is Okay?

If you read the list above closely, you noticed that most of the conditions listed were marked by excessive drinking. As you know, a small amount of regular alcohol can actually have positive impacts on your health–including a decreased risk in cardiovascular disease–but where should you draw the line between healthy and excessive?

The definition of moderate (acceptable) amounts of alcohol consumption varies greatly around the world. But, the Harvard School of Public Health provides a helpful estimation of what acceptable alcohol intake looks like (based on a healthy individual). The point of moderate consumption lies around 1-2 drinks per day for men and 1 drink per day for women. It’s also important to define what constitutes one drink. In the US, it’s safe to say that one drink equals either 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of liquor. Each of those servings will provide about 13 grams of alcohol per serving.

If sticking to one drink when out with friends sounds impossible, there’s another guide you can use. In a Time Inc article, Director of NIAAA, Dr. Mark Willenbring, provides a “more useful” suggestion for moderate alcohol consumption. He says that low-risk drinking means “no more than four drinks in one day, and no more than 14 drinks in a week [for men, and] no more than three drinks in any day and no more than seven drinks in any week [for women].” Dr. Willenbring prefers this guide because it’s more consistent with the way most people drink and it’s easier to implement.

Unwind With A Healthy White Sangria

Although it’s true that abstaining from alcohol altogether is the healthiest option, most people will continue to have occasional drinks regardless of the type of diet they’re following. The best way to decrease the impact, if you continue to drink, is to drink in moderation and reduce your caloric consumption while doing so. Replacing standard mixers and ingredients with healthier alternatives–like fruits and lower calorie alcohols–will help achieve that. A white sangria is a great solution, offering a healthier amount of calories and alcohol content, while still providing the delicious taste you enjoy. If you’re unsure whether you’re healthy enough to follow the guidelines above, consult your doctor to find out more information.

For more recipes and other health and fitness resources, visit American Family Fitness or contact your nearest gym to get advice from a health and fitness professional.