Eggnog is a love-it-or-hate it holiday tradition – and those who love it, really love it. If you enjoy it here and there throughout the holidays, just sip and savor your favorite variety. But be aware that a single cup can pack in 400 calories and 40 grams of sugar, so if eggnog is a daily indulgence throughout the holiday season, it pays to find a better-for-you nog that you truly enjoy.
Good news for eggnog fans, there are actually lower-sugar options on shelves that taste pretty decent – plus Molly has an easy tip to make lighter eggnog feel a little bit thicker & richer, in today’s FUELED Wellness + Nutrition.
Nutrition Facts listed are for a half-cup serving, standard for eggnog nutrition facts
Tip for richer, thicker eggnog: Add a scoop of unflavored collagen peptides or vanilla protein powder (whey or plant based), whisk or blend with immersion blender.
Cow’s Milk | Bolthouse Farms Holiday Nog
- 80 calories, 1 gram sat fat, 13 grams carb, 12 grams sugar (9 grams added sugar)
- Ingredients include milk, sugar, agave, whey protein, carrot juice, egg yolks
- 60% fewer calories and 80% less sat fat than traditional egg nog. Rich & creamy like regular egg nog.
Almond Milk | Califia Farms Holiday Nog | Dairy Free, Soy Free, Vegan
- 50 calories, 0 sat fat, 9 grams carb, 8 grams sugar (8 grams added sugar)
- Ingredients include almond milk, cane sugar, fruit & vegetable juice for color, ginger, sea salt, locust bean gum, gellan gum, nutmeg
- Noticeably mild flavor with a thinner texture than traditional eggnog
Oat Milk | Elmhurst Oat Nog blended with cashews| Dairy Free, Soy Free, Vegan
- Per half-cup: 100 calories, 0 sat fat, 18 grams carbs, 9 gram sugar (8 grams added sugar)
- Ingredients include water, oats, cashews, cane sugar
- Good eggnog flavor but thinner consistency; color is more beige than traditional eggnog-yellow
Almond Milk | Almond Breeze Almondmilk Nog | Dairy Free, Soy Free, Vegan
- 70 calories, 0 sat fat, 14 grams carb, 11 grams sugar (11 grams added sugar)
- Ingredients include almond milk, cane sugar, rice starch
- Decent flavor, good color, thick consistency [our top pick taste-wise for lighter eggnogs]
Cow’s Milk | Kalona Organic Classic Eggnog | no stabilizers, ultra streamlined ingredient list
- 210 calories, 9 grams saturated fat, 15 grams carbohydrate, 15 grams sugar (11 grams added sugar)
- Ingredients include all-organic whole milk, cream, cane sugar, sugared egg yolks, eggnog spice, vanilla extract
- Decent flavor and texture; separates easily. Also note that it’s the highest calorie of all eggnogs sampled, though it’s lower in added sugars.
Coconut Milk | So Delicious Coconut Nog | Dairy Free, Soy Free, Vegan
- 90 calories, 2 grams sat fat, 15 grams carb, 15 grams sugar (15 grams added sugar)
- Ingredients include coconut milk (water, coconut cream), cane sugar, sea salt, guar gum, nutmeg, xanthan gum, annatto for color
- Flavor and color are all milder than traditional eggnog with a thinner consistency, yet added sugars still 15 grams per half-cup
Most varieties of Classic, organic + otherwise ‘Natural’ eggnog
- 180-210 calories, 5-6 grams sat fat, 25 grams carbs, 17-24 grams sugar (15-19 grams added sugar)
- 400 calories + two days’ worth of sugar in a single cup
- Standard ingredients include milk, sugar (as sugar, HFCS, and/or corn syrup) cream and egg yolks, with nutmeg & annatto/turmeric for color
Most varieties of Reduced Fat, Lowfat, or “Light” Eggnog
- 140 calories, 1.5 grams sat fat, 20-25 grams carbs, 18-24 grams sugar (14-19 grams added sugar)
- Reduced fat milk or fat free milk is first ingredient, but also includes high fructose corn syrup or sugar.
- Typically only 25% fewer calories than classic eggnog with same high sugar content of two days’ worth of sugar in a single cup!
Molly Kimball, RD, CSSD is a registered dietitian + nutrition journalist in New Orleans, and founder of Ochsner Eat Fit nonprofit restaurant initiative. Tune in to her podcast, FUELED | Wellness + Nutrition and follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @MollyKimballRD. See more of Molly’s articles + TV segments at www.mollykimball.com, and sign up for Eat Fit Wellness Bites weekly newsletter, here.