Healthy Hollywood: Ask Keri Glassman - Which Is Healthier For Cinco De Derby, Margaritas Or Mint Juleps?

Keri Glassman Keri Glassman

Nutritionist Keri Glassman, who regularly shares her expertise on Access Hollywood and Access Hollywood Live, is answering your nutrition, diet, and health questions.

Want to know which foods to curb sugar cravings? Or, what should you eat before a workout? Ask Keri anything!

Keri will choose one great question a week to be answered Thursday in our Healthy Hollywood column.

To submit questions for Keri, click HERE!

This week’s question — Carrie Smith asks: I’ve been invited to a Cinco-de-Derby party this Saturday. Which will be my healthier option, the margaritas or the mint juleps?

Keri says…

Thanks for your question! This weekend gives us a whole lot to celebrate! If you are a generally healthy eater and exercising regularly, there is room to make conscious indulgences when celebrating that make you feel good about your choices, rather than overwhelmed and regretful. Having a plan can be an amazing tool – practice it when you celebrate this weekend.

Not sure if you should go the sombrero or straw derby hat route? Maybe the nutritional information of their respective drinks will help you decide which hat to rock this weekend. Let’s start with the margarita. Whether frozen, on the rocks or even straight up, a Margarita is generally made up of tequila, triple sec, lime and sometimes sugar. The calorie content varies, depending if yours is served in a small glass or giant bucket-like-glass and how much sugar is used. Be careful; calories can range from 160 to well over 300. Tequila comes from the agave plant and is known for its sweetness and kick. While it has some benefits, including relaxing effects, cholesterol lowering properties and digestive aid properties, one tequila-based drink should do the trick. If you plan to indulge in a cocktail, leave off the salt (who needs the water retention side effects?). Or, if you’re like me and cannot give up the salt, try adding a splash of cayenne pepper to your salt rim to boost the health properties. Also, use fresh lime (instead of drink mixes) to boost the tartness and increase the freshness and nutrition of the cocktail. Leave out the sugar altogether for your lowest-calorie option. Choose a small glass and sip slowly and remember to order a glass of water or seltzer with your drink.

If you are more of a derby kind of person, a traditional mint julep is typically made with bourbon, mint, sugar and water. Just like the margarita, your calorie content will vary based on the size of your glass and how much sugar is added. A shot of bourbon contains about 100 calories, which is similar to the amount of calories in tequila. Each glass of Mint Julep typically has about one-quarter cup of sugar in it (that’s nearly 200 calories!) and a tablespoon of mint leaves. Indulge consciously — and slowly. Make that drink last through more than just your favorite horse’s race and savor the fresh taste of mint. Load up on the mint and reduce the sugar for a lower-cal option. Mint is a great source of manganese, vitamin C and vitamin A. Mint has also been shown to soothe an upset stomach, and may even act as an anti-cancer agent! Just as with the margarita, choose a small glass, pace yourself, and enjoy a glass of sparkling water along with your drink.

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