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Affinity Health, a leading provider of high-quality healthcare, reveals some “low sugar” alcoholic beverages that are not as good for your waistline as you may believe.


No matter what alcoholic beverage you choose, all alcohol contains calories. According to research, a can of beer has the same amount as a large slice of pepperoni pizza.


According to the American Heart Association, men should consume no more than 37.5 gms of added sugars per day and women no more than 25 gms.


“Wines and drinks paired with fruit juices or sodas frequently believed to be ‘low sugar’ often have the most calories. Vodka and cranberry, for example, can contain more than seven teaspoons of sugar. Cocktails, like a Manhattan or Cosmopolitan, can add about 200 calories per drink to your diet respectively. Your favourite beer isn’t far behind, with an average of 149 calories per 450mls,” says Murray Hewlett, CEO of Affinity Health.

Affinity Health highlights popular drinks many believe are ‘low sugar’ but should be avoided if you want to stay in shape.

Gin And Tonic

Although gin and tonics are commonly considered a healthy alcoholic option, they are frequently loaded with sugar. Tonic water can add about 21 grams of sugar to your daily intake, nearly exceeding the recommended 25 grams limit. Try soda water instead if you want something similar but healthier.


White Wine

A glass of wine with dinner is said to have numerous benefits, including lowering blood pressure, promoting longevity, and lowering dementia risks. However, not all glasses of wine are created equal. According to research, sweet wine has 100-150 more calories per glass than dry wines with the same alcohol content.

Rum And Coke

As most of us know, drinking soda regularly will cause that number on the scale to rise. Combining alcoholic beverages with soft drinks can quickly lead to a sugar overdose. Try diet cola to reduce the calories significantly.


Although it’s difficult to resist this cocktail on taco Tuesday, margaritas are high in sugar. One margarita can contain up to 35 grammes of sugar. And the cocktail’s adverse weight-loss effects don’t stop there. Margarita mix frequently contains twice as many calories as the rum or tequila used in the drink. Not to mention that the calories are derived from the worst type of carbohydrates — simple and refined sugars.

Long Island Iced Teas

Don’t be misled by the name. A Long Island iced tea omits the tea entirely in favour of gin, rum, triple sec, and vodka. Due to the numerous ingredients, this cocktail has a high-calorie count (which typically makes up about three shots of alcohol). One Long Island iced tea contains 276 calories, or about 14% of your daily calorie intake (if you consume 2,000 calories daily).

Piña Colada

Fruity frozen drinks such as piña colada are a staple of beach holidays. Still, a piña colada with a sugar-filled mixer and artificial flavouring contains at least 300 calories (up to 600 calories) and over 30 grammes of sugar.


Because fruit is one of sangria’s main ingredients, it must be healthy, right? No. The sugar content remains high whether a sangria is made with fruit-flavoured or 100% real fruit juice.

Craft Beers

Although becoming a craft beer enthusiast will give you some serious hipster street cred, it will not help you lose weight. Craft beers can cause inflammation due to the additional carbs and high gluten content, resulting in large weight fluctuations or intense bloating. Try a light beer instead.


White Russian

This rich and creamy beverage can quickly pack on unwanted kilos. White Russians (one part vodka, one-part heavy cream, and one part coffee liqueur) contain 590 calories, 18 grammes of saturated fat, and 33 grammes of sugar. To make a healthier version of this popular holiday drink, we suggest substituting almond and coconut milk for the heavy cream.

About Affinity Health

Affinity Health is South Africa’s leading provider of health insurance, offering you a range of options at affordable rates including access to the widest national provider network. We understand the importance of having medical insurance that meets your needs, your budget, and your lifestyle. Our range of healthcare products are designed to protect you and your family when it matters the most. We strive to give our clients peace of mind and the highest standard of service at all times. For more information, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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