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Healthiest and Unhealthiest Beers (Slideshow)

Healthiest and Unhealthiest Beers (Slideshow)

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While beer might not be the best dieting tool, some are better than others

Healthy: Guinness Draught

A Guinness a day keeps the doctor away? According to researchers, that could be the case. Studies show that one pint of Guinness a day reduced the risk of blood clots. Doctors say that could be due to antioxidant compounds found in the dark stout.

Unhealthy: Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Ale

While the hops in their Pale Ale may make a pint or two worth the extra calories, there’s just no way to justify the 330 calories in a Bigfoot Ale if you’re watching your waistline.

Healthy: Abita Purple Haze

While drinking your berries may not be as healthy as eating them, Purple Haze is brewed with fresh raspberry puree after filtration, giving the beer its signature purple color and fortifying it with antioxidants.

Unhealthy: Flying Dog Horn Dog

If you’re looking for more bang for your buck, Horn Dog is it. At 10.2% ABV, Horn Dog has nearly double the alcohol of most beers. Unfortunately, higher alcohol content means more calories, and Horn Dog has 310 calories per serving — as much as a Whopper Jr.

Healthy: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

Good news, IPA fans! Turns out, hops contain polyphenols which have been shown to lower cholesterol, kill viruses, and fight cancer. Sierra Nevada’s popular pale ale contains 50 percent more hops than your average brew, which makes it an excellent source of hoppy power.

Unhealthy: Leinenkugel’s Berry Weiss

We gave the Abita Purple Haze a gold star for its berry goodness, but at 28 carbs per 12-ounce bottle, Leinenkugel gets the boot with more carbs than a serving of Häagen-Dazs cherry vanilla.

Healthy: Porterhouse Oyster Stout

Okay, so this brew isn’t for vegans. But for those who’d like to absorb the immunity-strengthening zinc and energy-boosting B vitamins found in oysters without the slime and brine, Porterhouse Oyster Stout, brewed with fresh oysters, is a tasty alternative.

Unhealthy: Newcastle

Caramel coloring (which is commonly derived from ammonia) has caught a lot of heat lately. California has even made it illegal. And while soft drink companies scramble to eliminate the coloring from their products, Newcastle is still using caramel coloring to mimic the natural color of toasted barley (which may say something about the quality of the beer itself).

Healthy: Peak Organic

While nearly all certified organic beers are herbicide, pesticide, and fertilizer-free, we like this one because it’s tasty and you can find it at nearly all Whole Foods stores, so you’ll never have to take a chance on a funky flavored unknown.

Unhealthy: Blue Moon

At least they’re honest? After calls for more transparency in beer ingredient listings, Miller Coors (Blue Moon’s parent company) admitted that the beer is not made with corn but a “liquid corn brewing adjunct,” but insisted it was not high fructose corn syrup. Adjuncts act as supplements to the standard brewing barley, and they’re usually used to cut cost. These cheap, ultra-processed additives can add more sugar to the brew, making it even less healthy.

The 10 Healthiest Beers, Ranked

There's no question that beer gets a bad rap when it comes to whether or not it's good for you--in fact, you've probably just come to accept the fact that knocking back a pint or two is somehow derailing your general well-being. But while it's true that a few too many six-packs can wreak havoc on your waistline--and possibly your social life--beer actually can do a body good, believe it or not.

"Unlike red wine, beer doesn't really get a lot of attention for its health benefits," says Andrea Giancoli, a registered dietitian and nutrition communications consultant in the L.A. area (and self-professed beer enthusiast).

"That's because of the fine line between alcohol being good for you and detrimental--you can get too much of a good thing. But beer does have a lot of things going for it, nutritionally."

For example, according to research conducted by Italy's Fondazione di Ricerca e Cura, moderate beer drinking (a little more than a pint per day) decreases drinkers' risk of heart disease by 31 percent (the same as moderate consumption of wine) a study published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, meanwhile, found that moderate consumption of beer reduces the risk of developing kidney stones by 41 percent. Not only that, but beer is one of the very few plant sources of vitamin B12.

"B12 is really only reliably found in animal sources, so that's a big deal, even if it only has 3 percent of the recommended daily allowance," says Giancoli. (The B12 comes from bacteria growth in the barley grain.)

Beer is also a source of plant-based phytonutrients (courtesy the barley and hops) but that doesn't mean you can switch out your salad for a cold brew. Still, all of this is good news for beer lovers--so the only question now is, which varieties pack the biggest nutritional punch?

"I recommend the beer that's in front of you," says Giancoli.

All joking aside, the healthiest option for you depends on what you're looking for. Here are our rankings of the most nutritionally sound brews out there:

Giancoli's personal favorite, this Mexican pilsner comes in at just 135 calories (per 12 ounces), with 12 grams of carbs. "Lighter beers are usually lower in alcohol or carbohydrate content," says Giancoli. "Either way, they're lower in calories because of that."And when it comes to weight-watching, calorie content should be the first thing you look for, she says. For a lower-calorie beer, she adds, Pacifico (which has an alcohol content of 4.5 percent) is better tasting than most: "Why have a Coors Light when you could have a Pacifico?" she asks. Indeed.

2. Guinness Draught

This traditional Irish stout has a reputation for being heavy--and hard-hitting--but at 128 calories and 11 grams of carbohydrates per serving (with 4.2 percent alcohol), it's actually neither. The same goes for most dark beers, says Giancoli. "Darker beer doesn't necessarily have more alcohol," she says. "Guinness isn't higher in alcohol or calories. The heavy taste doesn't translate to more alcohol." What dark beer does have more of, however, is fiber: Approximately 3.5 grams, as compared with the 2 grams found in lighter beers.

3. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

(photo: Flickr Creative Commons)

This super-popular brew is heavy on the hops, and if you're into hops, you're in luck: "More hops means more phytochemicals," says Giancoli. Sierra Nevada also has a slightly higher alcohol content (5.6 percent), as well as a few more calories and carbs (175 and 14.1 grams, respectively).

4. Samuel Adams Light Lager

We know, we know: Light beer? Blech. But fans of Sam Adams swear by its taste, and at 119 calories per serving (with 9.7 grams of carbs), it's definitely a good pick for those looking to stay slim. Of course, the alcohol content is lower, too--just 4 percent--so if you're just gonna end up drinking more to compensate, it makes more sense to start with a brew that'll get you buzzed with fewer servings.

5. Abita Purple Haze

What better way to add antioxidants--and flavor--to beer than brew it with fresh raspberries? In addition to the fruit-powered nutrients, this purplish lager also has an alcohol content of 4.2 percent, as well as 145 calories per serving and 11 grams of carbs.

6. Left Hand Good Juju

This actual "ginger ale" is made with fresh ginger, which aids in digestion and is thought to have anti-inflammatory properties. It's also on the lower-calorie end: 131 per serving, with 4.5 percent alcohol.

7. Yuengling Lager

(photo: Flickr Creative Commons)

A traditional amber lager, this version is naturally higher in calories than Yuengling Light (135 versus 98), but it's significantly higher in alcohol content (4.4 percent versus 3.8), so you likely won't drink as much. Oh, and it tastes better, too, while still being a lot lower in calories than some options.

8. New Belgium Sunshine Wheat

This American pale wheat ale gets high marks for flavor (thanks to notes of orange peel and coriander), but isn't particularly high in calories for a wheat-y beer: 145 per serving, with 4.8 percent alcohol and 13 grams of carbs.

9. Flying Dog Snake Dog IPA

(photo: Flickr Creative Commons)

In the market for a more, shall we say, knock-your-socks-off kind of beer? At 7.10 percent alcohol, this one will definitely get the job done--and for just 188 calories. (Yes, that's considerably higher than the other beers on this list, but again--your overall consumption will likely be lower, and the calorie content still ain't bad.)

10. Deschutes Chainbreaker White IPA

(photo: Flickr Creative Commons)

For a Belgian IPA with a relatively high alcohol content (5.6 percent), this brew is surprisingly low in carbs (10.8 grams). The increased buzz factor will, however, cost you a few extra calories: 180 per serving.

Skip: Naan

Naan is to Indian food what fries are to burgers -- they just go together. And like those fluffy spuds, this soft flatbread has little nutritional value. Most naan recipes call for Greek yogurt to give it that airy texture. But that’s more than offset by less healthy ingredients like white flour, sugar, and oil.


The low-carb fads of the late '90s still linger today, and many people still believe that white potatoes should be avoided at all costs. The potato can be a great source of carbohydrates and nutrients, including vitamins C, B-6, and folate and fiber (4 grams when you eat the skin). The key is to eat the right portion size and rethink your add-ons (and cooking method). Some large potatoes are almost the size of a football, so be sure to cut those in half or even thirds. To enjoy your potatoes in a healthy way, cut them into 1-inch thick slices, season with garlic, herbs and pepper and bake in the oven until soft and golden brown.

The Healthiest Dishes at 30 Major Restaurant Chains

You can eat out and still eat healthy food. Find out from Food Network the best things to order at these popular chain restaurants.


For calorie-appropriate portions, look for Applebee's Lighter Fare, which are all under 700 calories per dish. Among the options are Cedar-Grilled Lemon Chicken and Thai Shrimp Salad. Your best bet is probably the Pepper-Crusted Sirloin & Whole Grains &mdash served with spinach, mushrooms and tomatoes, it seems to be the most well-rounded meal. Almost all of these meals pack a day&rsquos worth of sodium, so if you&rsquore watching that, opt instead for a Fire-Grilled Shrimp Skewer, Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Steamed Broccoli from the regular menu, which trims the sodium while keeping calories in check.


The classic offerings at this sandwich chain aren&rsquot especially vegetable-heavy, so get them where you can. The Roast Turkey Farmhouse Salad tops iceberg and green leaf lettuce with sliced turkey, pepper bacon and shredded cheddar. Choose the balsamic vinaigrette, which brings the calorie total to a light 360. If you&rsquore more in the mood for a sandwich, the Classic Roast Beef is a safe bet, delivering 360 calories and 23 grams of protein and half the sodium (970 mg) of some of the turkey sandwiches. Pair it with a side salad to round out your meal.

Buffalo Wild Wings

We wouldn&rsquot want you to NOT have the wings at Buffalo Wild Wings. And lucky for you, they may just be the healthiest thing on the menu! Just a few tips for ordering: Go for traditional wings, rather than boneless (they&rsquore more whole foods-based) and get the snack size. For the least added sugar and sodium go for the buffalo, chipotle, desert heat, lemon pepper and salt & vinegar flavors. The snack-size buffalo traditional wings deliver 340 calories, 6 grams of saturated fat, 530 mg of sodium and 41 grams of protein. Make sure you eat the carrot and celery sticks, too, for a small dose of vegetables. The fiesta pork tacos are another good choice providing 450 calories, 30 grams of protein, 10 grams of fat, 1100 mg of sodium and 3 grams of fiber.

Burger King

Finally, a veggie burger on a fast food menu! At Burger King you can get a Morningstar veggie burger, along with the usual toppings of lettuce, tomato and onions. As a standalone item, it has 390 calories, 22 protein, 6 grams of fiber and 1060 mg of sodium. Get bonus points for ordering a side salad, but if you do go for fries, choose the Value size, which is the smallest option available.

California Pizza Kitchen

It&rsquos not all pizza at California Pizza Kitchen. They recently rolled out two new Power Bowls that pair whole grains, veggies and protein. The Banh Mi Bowl tops quinoa and baby kale with grilled chicken, watermelon radishes, avocado, cucumbers, carrots, bean sprouts, scallions, cilantro, mint and sesame seeds. It&rsquos high in fiber (9 grams), rich in protein (30 grams), and lower in sodium than many restaurant dishes (460 mg of sodium). If you&rsquore not feeling the bowl thing, order a half-sized California Cobb salad (still a hefty portion), or check out the cedar-planked salmon.

Carl’s Jr.

Go for the Famous Star® burger at Carl&rsquos Jr., but hold the cheese and mayo, order it on a plain bun, and ask for extra lettuce and tomatoes. These swaps will save you on calories and saturated fat, giving you a healthier burger. This option, which falls under their &ldquoTrim It®&rdquo menu, clocks in at 390 calories, 17 grams of fat, 610 mg of sodium, 3 grams of fiber and 23 grams of protein. If lettuce-wrapped burgers and sandwiches are your thing, you&rsquore in luck! Carl&rsquos Jr. says you can &ldquoLow Carb It.® by swapping the bun for a large lettuce leaf in sandwiches such as the Low Carb Charbroiled Chicken Club.

Carraba’s Italian Grill

At Carraba&rsquos Italian Grill most of the dinner-sized pastas pack in a day&rsquos worth of sodium. So either share a pasta to halve the sodium, or opt for one of the seafood or chicken entrees. The Tuscan Strawberry Salad With Chicken, Salmon or Shrimp is a good option, or order off the appetizer menu: the Italian Lettuce Wraps, featuring balsamic-drizzled grilled chicken, veggies and ricotta salata would pair nicely with the Bruschette Siciliani, for a balanced meal.


Chick-Fil-A&rsquos Grilled Chicken Cool Wrap® is a solid choice. The chicken is layered with cheese, lettuce, red cabbage and carrots, and the wrap is a super-high fiber flatbread. The nutrient profile is extraordinarily balanced, giving you 15 grams of fiber, 14 grams of fat and 37 grams of protein for 350 calories. Despite the high-ish amount of sodium (960 mg), it&rsquos still one of the healthiest things on the menu. If you want even more produce in your meal, opt for the Grilled Market Salad, which adds blueberries, strawberries and apples to the lettuce/cabbage mix. Go easy on the dressing, though, which adds quite a bit of sugar to the meal.


Dive into the Guiltless Grill menu at Chili&rsquos to find balanced meals under 600 calories. Options include Mango Chili Chicken, served with Mexican rice and steamed broccoli, and the Margarita Chicken, which is like a burrito bowl. Just know that these two options have about a day&rsquos worth of sodium. So a better bet may be the Grilled Chicken Salad, with 440 calories, 6 grams of saturated fat, 1100 mg of sodium and 38 grams of protein.


Your best bet at Chipotle Mexican Grill is the burrito bowl, since you can tailor it exactly as you want. For the most nutrition, we&rsquod order it with tofu or steak, black or pinto beans, brown rice and fajita veggies, fresh tomato salsa, guacamole and lettuce. You&rsquoll get 16 grams of fiber and 31 grams of protein with this combination, making it a meal with staying power. A quality alternative is the tacos. Surprisingly, the crispy corn tortillas are a healthier option than flour tortillas &mdash they&rsquore lower in calories, higher in fiber and have no sodium &mdash but even better yet are the soft corn tortillas, which aren&rsquot fried at all.

Cracker Barrel

The Wholesome Fixin&rsquos menu is the place to find better-for-you options at this classic comfort food restaurant. Pair the Buttermilk Oven-Fried Chicken or Pecan-Crusted Catfish with lower-sodium, veggie-focused sides, such as mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli, or Brussels sprouts and kale salad with apple slices. If you&rsquore there for breakfast, try out the steel-cut Apple n&rsquo Cinnamon Oatmeal. You&rsquoll get whole grains, fruit and pecans for a stick-to-your-ribs breakfast.


Denny&rsquos Fit Fare® menu is the place to look for some healthier options. If you&rsquore hungry for breakfast, try the Fit Fare® Loaded Veggie Omelette, an egg white omelette that&rsquos stuffed with zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes and onions and served with fruit and an English muffin. For dinner, try the Fit Fare® Tilapia Ranchero topped with pico de gallo and avocado and served with mashed potatoes and broccoli. Both options give you plenty of protein, veggies and fiber.

Five Guys

At Five Guys get the &ldquolittle&rdquo burger, which has a single patty and gives you plenty of protein (16 grams). Load it up with the veggie fixin&rsquos: grilled mushrooms and onions, green peppers, lettuce and tomato. Or you can go totally veggie with the Veggie Sandwich by swapping the burger for a slice of cheese and getting some extra protein via the free peanuts at the counter. Also a side note: The little fries aren&rsquot exactly little in the calorie department, delivering 526 calories in a not-so-little 8-ounce portion.

Golden Corral

At the Golden Corral, you can cruise the salad bar for your perfect plate. Get what looks good to you, and try to practice healthy eating by using &ldquoMy Plate&rdquo&mdashfill half your plate with nonstarchy veggies (such as green beans, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes and carrots) and fruit, one quarter of your plate with some sort of protein (meat, chicken, beans), and the other quarter with starchy food (potatoes, bread, mac & cheese). Bonus points for choosing at least some raw or steamed veggies.


Hardee&rsquos is keyed into dietary restrictions, offering options that are low-carb (lettuce-wrapped burgers), vegetarian, low-cal and gluten-free. Their nutrition page also tells consumers the Weight Watchers points for each meal. A smart rule to follow is &ldquoless is more&rdquo: the small burger has a reasonably low 270 calories and 560 mg of sodium, although for its size, it&rsquos a bit high in saturated fat (11 grams) and low in protein (14 grams).

At KFC, order the Kentucky Grilled Chicken ® Thigh or a couple of drumsticks, along with corn on the cob or mashed potatoes and green beans. These options keep to the normal range for sodium, calories and saturated fat, while still giving you the complete KFC experience. And if you&rsquore debating whether the cornbread or biscuit is healthier, the answer is that it&rsquos a toss-up: the cornbread muffin has less sodium and saturated fat, but the biscuit has fewer calories and sugar.

Jack in the Box

Chicken&rsquos one of the best bets on the Jack in the Box menu, whether you go for one of the three chicken salads (Grilled Chicken, Southwest Chicken or Chicken Club) or the Chicken Fajita Pita. All four options clock in under 400 calories (that&rsquos sans dressing for the salad), and give you a satiating amount of protein (24 for the pita and around 35 for the salads). The salads will give you more servings of vegetables, which is a definite plus, and fill you up with more fiber. Just steer clear of the combo meals, which pack a day&rsquos worth of calories into a single meal.

LongHorn Steakhouse

For the healthiest meal at this popular steak chain, nix the steak in favor of the Longhorn salmon and order the steamed asparagus or chargrilled mixed vegetables and a plain baked potato as sides (yes, you can add some butter). By sticking to these simply prepared whole foods, you&rsquoll get a model meal that&rsquos lower in sodium than many of the other entrees.


McDonald&rsquos has upped its nutrition game by offering more customizable options, as well as fruits and veggies. If you want a burger, try the Pico Guacamole 100% Beef Burger, which gives you a quarter-pound beef burger (an optimal portion), along with guacamole, pico de gallo and lettuce. It clocks in at 580 calories, 41 grams of carbs and 29 grams of protein. If you want to be even more virtuous, ask for no cheese, skip the fries and order a side salad and apple slices or citrus. The healthier-sounding &ldquoartisan roll adds an extra 50 calories and 10 grams of carbs without providing any more fiber, so skip that. Another good option is the Premium Southwest Salad with Grilled Chicken, which has 290 calories, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 650 mg of sodium and 27 protein. The black beans provide added fiber, and saturated fat and sodium are lower than in other items.

Olive Garden

Olive Garden&rsquos latest take on healthy eating can be found under the Tastes of the Mediterranean menu. The six dishes featured on this menu range between 460 and 590 calories and all have at least one serving of vegetables. The Herb-Grilled Salmon, prepared with a garlic-herb butter and served with Parmesan Broccoli is the lowest in sodium, delivering a modest 570 mg. Another option is to order off the kids&rsquo menu, which ensures that you get portions that are actually more ideal for adults than what you&rsquod find on the standard menu. For instance, you can get a 220-calorie portion of whole-wheat linguine topped with 80-calorie tomato sauce, and either a meatball, grilled chicken or shrimp, giving you a balanced meal that&rsquos not oversized. The stats for that meal with grilled chicken are 440 calories, 12 grams of fat, 655 mg of sodium, 40 grams of protein and 9 grams of fiber.


Check out the Under 600 Calorie menu to instantly find individual dishes that&rsquoll deliver 600 calories or fewer, including crab-stuffed mushrooms and grilled salmon with vegetables. As an alternative, piece together a meal from the rest of the menu: Outback&rsquos dietitians suggest the wood-fired shrimp with barbecue sauce and a plain sweet potato. We&rsquod also recommend the 6-ounce Outback Center-Cut Sirloin for 210 calories and 3 grams of saturated fat, 520 mg of sodium and 38 protein, paired with sauteed mushrooms and a plain sweet potato.

Panera Bread

Choosing half a sandwich and a cup of soup or side salad is a great way to go at Panera. A strong sandwich choice would be the Mediterranean Veggie on Tomato Basil, which is essentially a Greek salad turned into a sandwich. Pair that with either the turkey chili or a half order of the Chinese Cashew Citrus Salad with Chicken for extra protein.

P.F. Chang's

For the healthiest item at P.F. Chang's, turn to Buddha's Feast. This meatless option features vegetables &mdash asparagus, shiitake mushrooms, broccoli and carrots &mdash plus baked tofu. It's low in calories (250) and sodium (300 mg), but delivers 26 protein and 9 grams of fiber, thanks to the tofu and veggies. Make sure to order it steamed and ask for brown rice on the side (that&rsquoll add 190 calories, 3 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein to your meal).


In lieu of a chicken plate, go for one of two chicken sandwiches at Popeyes: the BBQ Chicken Po&rsquoBoy Sandwich or the Loaded Chicken Wrap. Each sandwich delivers sensible amounts of calories and protein, while having lower amounts of sodium than many of the other menu items. Another option is to piece together a meal from sides: the small red beans & rice, green beans and a corn on the cob delivers around 500 calories, and is probably the best vegetarian option.

Red Lobster

Red Lobster's Lighthouse menu features their &ldquolighter fare&rdquo options, including Snow Crab Legs, Maple-Glazed Chicken and Wood-Grilled Peppercorn Sirloin with Shrimp. However, even outside of this menu, there&rsquos plenty to choose from. Get a half-order of your favorite seafood, broiled, ask for broccoli or asparagus and wild rice on the side and a garden salad with champagne vinaigrette, for a meal that will clock in around 500 calories with a balanced amount of carbs, protein and fat. For instance, a half-serving of broiled wild-caught Flounder with broccoli, wild rice and a garden salad has 530 cals, 14 grams of fat, 1300 mg of sodium, 54 grams carbs, 4 grams of fiber and 42 protein. As an added bonus, this option is even lower in sodium than any of the Lighthouse entrees.

Red Robin

The Avo-Cobb-O Salad is the way to go at Red Robin. You&rsquoll get 8 grams of filling fiber and a whopping 51 grams of protein, thanks to the combination of grilled chicken, hard-boiled egg, bacon and blue cheese topping the lettuce and tomato. But go easy on the dressing &mdash they serve 6 tablespoons with entree salads, so order it on the side and only use what you need.


Order any six-inch sandwich on nine-grain wheat from Subway's Fresh Fit menu and load it up with avocado, lettuce or spinach, tomatoes, onions, shredded carrots, green peppers and cucumbers (but skip the pickles and banana peppers, which are brimming with sodium). Fresh Fit items are certified by the American Heart Association to be heart-healthy meals. Choose apple slices on the side, with water or low-fat milk to drink.

Taco Bell

Order off of the "Fresco" menu at Taco Bell for choices that are under 350 calories and fewer than 10 grams total fat &mdash with less saturated fat than other menu items as well. These menu items swap out the cheese and sour cream for pico de gallo, which helps you get some more produce and flavor for fewer calories. Fresco chicken or steak soft tacos are the best bets in terms of calories, saturated fat and protein. They're only 140 to 160 calories each, so get two and add a side of black beans (which adds only 80 calories and 5 grams of fiber) for a complete meal.

TGI Friday’s

Your healthiest bet at TGI Friday&rsquos is likely the Mediterranean Shrimp Naan sandwich, which clocks in at 470 calories, 3.5 grams of saturated fat and 1260 mg of sodium which, while high, is still lower than many other menu items. Or, if you&rsquore craving wings, go for the BBQ wings&mdash bone in wings have far less sodium and fewer calories than boneless&mdashand pair it with a side salad or house salad with green goddess dressing. Of the lunch-size salads, the Million Dollar Cobb Salad with Green Goddess Dressing is the lowest-sodium choice, though the fat is high (480 calories, 32 grams of fat, 1190 mg of sodium). Other great side options are the steamed spinach, the tomato-mozzarella salad and even the coleslaw.


There are a bunch of nutritious options at Wendy&rsquos, and they all almost all include chicken. The Grilled Chicken Sandwich is served on a multigrain roll with tomatoes and spring mix, and is low in saturated fat (1.5 grams) and high in protein (35 grams). Depending on the location, you can also get half- or full-sized portions of salads, such as the Power Mediterranean Chicken Salad or Apple Pecan Chicken. For a veggie option, try the baked potato with broccoli and cheese sauce &mdash you&rsquoll get a whopping 10 grams of fiber and 15 grams of protein.

Beer: My Heart Says No, But My Mind Says Yes

Beer is delicious. Unfortunately, almost every beer you drink will be high in calories and carbs. It will get you full and you will develop a beer belly. Drinking beer healthily is where simply trading off becomes the ultimate sacrifice. According to Beer100, the majority of beers come in at over 130 calories, and finding one that has less than, say, five grams of carbs is near impossible — some have as many as 24 grams.

If wine, hard liquor, and abstinence are out of the question, then light beer is going to do some justice. Miller Light has only 96 calories and 3.2 grams of carbs Bud Light has 110 calories and 6.6 grams of carbs and Coors Light has 104 calories and 5.3 grams of carbs. These beers are great for being healthy, but will you really only drink one of two? With lower calories and carbs, they also come with lower alcohol contents, which may cause you drink more to get drunk — a balance any beer drinker might want to think about.

If you’re going to try to avoid light beers and still be healthy, Guinness and other stouts are a good option. More often than not, stouts are made with whole grains, which give them their darker, caramel flavor. Compared to a lager, both have vitamins B12 and soluble fiber, but only stouts have antioxidants. Some evidence even suggests these antioxidants can have the same health benefits as wine, by reducing the risk of blood clots and other heart problems.

Healthy cereals from best to worst, at a glance

The healthiest cereal overall is Weetabix, finally answering the question of whether Weetabix is good or you. Although it might have a higher sugar content than other cereals, it’s got the lowest fat, saturated fat and salt score. It also scores well for the amount of calories per 100g, being almost half that of the worst overall cereal.

  • Best cereal overall: Weetabix
  • Best cereal for sugar content: Nestle Bitesize Shredded Wheat
  • Best cereal for saturated fat content: Kellogg’s Cornflakes

While the worst cereal overall is Honey Monster Puffs, with 48.8g of fat and 610 calories per 100g. It also scores high on the amount of saturated fat, sugar count and has a high salt content.

  • Worst cereal overall: Honey Monster Puffs
  • Worst cereal for sugar content: Kellogg’s Crunchy Nut Cornflakes
  • Worst cereal for saturated fat content: Honey Monster Puffs

“When we’ve spent several hours fasting through the night, our blood sugar is likely to be low on waking.” Liz Cooper, nutritional advisor at Bio-Kult, explains. “So it’s important to eat a breakfast that’s not going to cause a spike in our blood sugar level, as this could result in a slump by mid-morning and could potentially have us reaching for sweet snacks or caffeine to give us the energy boost we’ll no doubt need.”

“Having these blood sugar peaks and troughs is not only detrimental to our energy, focus and concentration in the short-term, but it can ultimately have long-term health implications, such as increasing our risk of diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease.”

A healthy cereal should contain the right balance of ingredients to maintain healthy blood sugar levels, Liz says. “This requires sufficient amounts of protein, healthy fat and fibre, which all further help towards supplying us with nutrients vital for functions such as hormone production, growth and repair and immune function.”

Nutritional advisor Liz recommends bircher muesli and granola, as they are “free from added sugar and high sugar dried fruit. In fact, making your own granola is even better and often much more cost effective”. Other healthy breakfast ideas include p orridge, omelettes and smoothies.

1. Brussels sprouts and walnut pizza with whole wheat flax crust

You might not thing pizza would be among our list of the healthiest recipes, but there’s no need to feel guilty about eating it when you do it right. In this recipe, the crust is made using whole wheat flour and flax seed meal. If you don’t want to make your own crust, then purchase whole wheat dough from your local pizzeria or head to the market to purchase refrigerated or frozen whole wheat dough.

Skill level: Beginner
Yields: 2 (14-inch) pizzas
Start to Finish: 1 hour, 51 minutes, plus 1 hour for dough to rise
Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 1 hour, 26 minutes


For the crust
1 cup whole-wheat flour
2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon instant yeast
1¼ cup warm water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup flax seed meal

For the toppings
1 shallot, minced
1 pound Brussels sprouts, quartered
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic olive oil (1/2 tablespoon for each pizza)
1 cup walnuts, crushed and toasted
8 oz burrata (4 oz for each pizza)
Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon chestnut honey (or any high-quality honey- ½ tablespoon for each pizza)


1. Combine all ingredients except flax in a large bowl either by hand or using a mixer. Add the flax and knead mixture together until no longer sticky. Cover and let rise for 1 hour. Cut dough in half and separate to rise for another hour.
2. While rising, preheat oven to 450 degrees.
3. Roll the dough out onto a pizza stone until 14” in diameter. Bake on the lower rack for about 10 minutes, until the edges start to slightly brown. Remove from oven and arrange toppings. Repeat for second pizza.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. On a baking sheet, toast the walnuts for approximately 8 minutes, until they begin to brown. In a medium to large roasting pan, toss together the olive oil, Brussels sprouts and shallot. Season with salt and pepper. Turn the oven up to 375 degrees and roast for 50 minutes, until Brussels sprouts are tender inside and crisp on the outside.
3. Brush 1/2 tablespoon garlic olive oil all over dough and add half of the Brussels sprouts, walnuts and burrata (save the rest for second pizza.) Bake for another 8 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is slightly brown.
4. Remove from the oven and season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle honey over pizza and serve. Repeat for second pizza.

Recipe and photo by Kara Lydon, RD, LDN, RYT of The Foodie Dietitian.

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Cooking with Beer (the Healthy Way)

Surprising but true: Cooking with beer can actually be a healthy way to flavor food—here's why.

A 12-ounce bottle of regular beer has about 150 calories and is free of fat and cholesterol. It also has very little sodium-only 1% of the recommended daily allowance. Interestingly, beer also has numerous vitamins and minerals like vitamin B-vitamins, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and selenium.

Tossing back a few too many bottles can help pack on the pounds, but when beer, wine or hard alcohol is heated it loses some of its alcohol (and calories) through evaporation. The amount of alcohol dissipated depends on cooking time and the temperature. Although 100% of the alcohol will never be lost, it usually ranges from about 15% to 95% of the calories. Data published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found the following:

  • When alcohol is stirred into a hot liquid, it loses 15% of the alcohol content. Example: Irish coffee
  • When alcohol is stirred and simmered or baked for 15 minutes, it loses 20% of the alcohol content. Example: Mulled wine
  • When alcohol is simmered or baked for 1 hour, it loses 75% of the alcohol content. Example: Chicken cacciatore
  • When alcohol is simmered or baked for 2.5 hours, it loses 95% of the alcohol content. Example: Beef stew

1. Simmer chicken thighs in beer, onions, potatoes, and mustard for an outstanding weeknight dinner

Other Things to Keep in Mind

Going out for a drink or two with friends can certainly fit in with your weight-loss plans, especially if you follow some of the ordering options we've provided. But there are other factors to take into consideration.

Once you have a drink or two, your inhibitions are lowered. You might be tempted to order another drink… and then another. Just keep this in mind when going out. Pace yourself and drink water along with your adult beverage to stay hydrated.

Also, drinking messes with your sleep. You might fall asleep faster, but the quality of your sleep will suffer, according to the National Sleep Foundation. And we know that not getting enough shut-eye can wreak havoc on our weight-loss efforts. A June 2019 review paper published in Sleep Medicine Reviews found that sleep deprivation can leave us feeling hungrier, which results in us eating more — to the tune of an extra 250 calories a day!

You can absolutely go out and enjoy time with friends along with a drink or two. Know your limits and do your best to make healthier choices when ordering a mixed drink.


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