Let’s pretend for a moment that you didn’t just spend the entire winter clutching a glass of red wine while the wind howled outside… Cheers! The sun is here. You deserve a drink! When the sun is shining and you’ve got a precious few hours to kick back with friends and family, what shouldn’t be on your mind is your waistline. If you are a regular kicker-backer, however, it’s smart to choose bevvies that don’t pack on the pounds.
A beer is refreshing on a summer’s day, but an afternoon of beers around the BBQ on the weekend, plus a glass of pinot grigio or two at dinner here and there, and a girls’ night once per week with sugary cocktails quickly adds up to a lot of carbohydrates, alcohol sugars, calories, and belly-bloating gluten, additives and preservatives.
So if you’re having one of those weeks (yay, you!) might we suggest your old university nemesis… tequila! Believe it or not, getting a taste for tequila might be one of the smartest ways to sail through cocktail season and come out the other end wearing the same dress size you started in.
A recent study shows that the sugars found naturally in tequila, called “agavins,” are not absorbed by the body and thus don’t raise blood sugar. This means they don’t cause the insulin release and fat storage that other sugar consumption can, and also that they are a more suitable choice for type-2 diabetics as well as those who need to lose weight (or just don’t want to gain). In the study, mice ate a standard mousy diet, with agavins added to their water. The mice who consumed agavins ate less overall and had lower blood glucose levels, partially due to an appetite-suppressing hormone called GLP-1 which was produced after consuming agavins.
Tequila for breakfast! OK, maybe not. But if you’re looking for something refreshing, steal Dara’s fave summer drink – it’s a tequila-based, figure-friendly take on the margarita. The tequila is blood-sugar friendly, plus…
- Lime suppresses the insulin response caused by alcohol and helps maintain insulin sensitivity (a key to preventing obesity and type 2 diabetes), helping protect against fat-storage.
- The carbon dioxide bubbles in soda water speeds up the alcohol’s rate of absorption in your gut, meaning alcohol gets into your bloodstream faster and you don’t require as many drinks to get that after-work patio buzz going.
Each 1-shot “Norcal Margarita” (coined by Paleo diet founding father and biochemist Robb Wolf) contains only 100 calories. So if you have 3 drinks at the world’s most boring bridal shower you still come in at only 300 calories – way less than the up-to 500 calories in just ONE blended, super sized, sugary “margarita.” Plus, you’ll find the bride’s obsessive self-absorbtion less annoying…
THE STAY-LEAN NORCAL MARGARITA
- 1.5 ounces gold tequila (spend a little money for a higher-quality tequila, ladies… we are talking garden cocktails here, not shots in the back of someone’s camper van)
- 2 limes, juiced
- soda water
- sprinkle of salt (if you need that authentic margarita garnish)
1. Pour tequila over ice.
2. Squeeze and/or muddle limes into glass.
3. Top with soda water. Imbibe!