Be smart... Know your alcohol IQ

Advocate staff photo by GAVIN JACKSON Photo shot on 11/4/10 --- Trax #00023674A ---  Slug: genericwinefoo--- Red, white and rose wine.
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For many people, the holidays are a time to raise a glass or two. Just remember that alcohol contains empty calories that can derail even the best-laid diet plans. So, before you raise a glass, raise your alcohol IQ:

Look for lighter choices. A bottle of light beer has about 100 calories, although some clock in as low as 55 calories. Wine has about 25 calories per ounce, so pour accordingly.

Clear or light-colored alcohol — your gin, tequila, vodka and rum — have about 100 calories for 1.5 ounces. Mix with a low-cal or calorie-free mixer for a party sipper.

Beware of drinks that look more like a dessert than a beverage. Many contain ice cream, syrups and a hefty dose of alcohol. They could easily contain a day’s worth of calories.

Club soda or tonic water? Go for the calorie-free club soda over the 80 calories of tonic water.

Fruit juice can add up. That orange juice, at about 100 calories per cup, can easily turn your screwdriver into calorie-adding tool.

Alcohol lowers your resistance. Even those with the best intentions can find themselves unable to resist the buffet after a drink or two. So eat before you go, and keep tabs on the refills.

And, of course, NEVER drink and drive. It’s the best thing you can do for your health and that of everyone else on the road.

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