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The Best and Worst "Drunk" Food

We all do it. After a long night of drinking, it's all-too tempting to break with your healthy habits and chow down on something salty and fatty. Here's how to do it right.

As many of us know — perhaps a little too well — a night of heavy drinking can quickly derail several weeks’ worth of diligent healthy eating.

You know the story. You’re out with your friends. You’ve had some drinks. After midnight, someone suggested shots. Suddenly, you have a craving for something salty and fatty. When you leave the bar or the club, the bright lights of a late-night diner or fast food joint start to draw you in.

You're not alone. Studies indicate that consuming alcohol can send your blood sugar plummeting, leaving you craving calories after a few hours of drinking. Drinking on an empty stomach — as some of us know from experience — can even be dangerous.

While it’s important to eat both before and after you drink, fuelling up on salty and fatty foods isn’t exactly healthy either. If you’re going to binge, here’s how to do it right.

You can balance out the empty calories in booze with foods that are low in fat and high in nutritional value. These healthy late-night options may also help you to avoid — or lessen — your hangover the next morning.

The Best Drunk Foods

1. Thin-Crust or Vegetarian Pizza

All is not lost. If you absolutely need pizza after a long night out, consider healthier options, like whole wheat crust, thin crust, or veggie pizza. If you insist on cheese, dab the oil.

2. Paninis and Wraps

Grilled chicken and vegetarian paninis and wraps are generally healthy options. But hold the mayonnaise, cream cheese, and extra cheese.

3. Soup With Crackers or Bread

Soup is packed full of nutrients and paired with a carbohydrate like a whole-wheat bread roll or saltines, it can help to absorb the alcohol in your bloodstream while simultaneously tackling your hunger. Avoid cream-based soups, though, as they're packed with fat.

4. A Brown Rice Burrito Bowl

Who needs burritos when there are burrito bowls? Package with fresh vegetables, whole grain rice, and pinto or black beans for protein, a burrito bowl is a filling drunk food option. Swap sour cream for guac and hold the cheese and you can wake up guilt-free the next morning.

Well, except for that hangover …

5. Leftovers

If you happen to make it home without gorging — or you never went out in the first place — a small serving of leftovers should be fine. Cereal, lightly buttered popcorn, and toast with natural peanut butter are a few other options that you're less likely to regret in the morning.

The Worst Drunk Foods

Drumroll, anyone? These are some of the least healthy (and perhaps the most common) options to gorge on after a bender. Is the world going to end if you slip up? Nope. Just don’t make a habit of it.

1. Burgers and Fries

Beware of excessively salty foods, which can aggravate dehydration when alcohol already has you feeling extra thirsty.

2. Chili Dogs

Ah, the chili dog. If you won't touch one with a ten-foot pole when you're sober, chances are you'll regret this one.

3. Pepperoni Pizza

You know the type of pizza we’re talking about here. Dripping with grease, layered with cheese, thick-crusted, and topped with enough processed red meat to send your blood pressure skyrocketing. Scarfing down a few slices right before lying down to go to bed can aggravate gastrointestinal reflux disorder (GERD), and trigger symptoms such as heartburn and acid reflux.

4. Nachos and Tacos

Ditto for these Mexican-inspired cheesy delights.

5. Gyros

If you live in a city, getting home may mean passing an infinite number of gyro stalls. Filled with roasted lamb and veggies, as well as garlic mayo or tzatziki sauce, gyros can seem healthy. But when they rarely are. Cooks often add extra fat to gyro meat, while a lot of sodium is used to enhance taste.

[Image via Getty]

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