Healthy Eggnog: Best and Worst Picks

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By Molly Kimball, RD, CSSD



 

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.

Fortunately, there are a few lower-sugar eggnog options out there that taste pretty good, too. Read on for a list of them.

Note: Nutrition facts listed below are for a half-cup serving.



Top picks for healthy eggnog

 

Tip: For richer, thicker eggnog, add a scoop of unflavored collagen peptides or vanilla protein powder (whey or plant based), and whisk or blend with an immersion blender.

Bolthouse Farms Holiday Nog

  • 80 calories, 1 gram saturated fat, 13 grams carbs, 12 grams sugar (9 grams added sugar)
  • Ingredients include cow’s milk, sugar, agave, whey protein, carrot juice, egg yolks
  • 60% fewer calories and 80% less saturated fat than traditional eggnog
  • Rich and creamy like regular eggnog

 

Califia Farms Holiday Nog



  • 50 calories, 0 grams saturated fat, 9 grams carbs, 8 grams sugar (8 grams added sugar)
  • Ingredients include almond milk, cane sugar, fruit and vegetable juice for color, ginger, sea salt, locust bean gum, gellan gum, nutmeg
  • Dairy free, soy free, vegan
  • Noticeably mild flavor with a thinner texture than traditional eggnog

 

Elmhurst Oat Nog blended with cashews

  • Per half-cup: 100 calories, 0 grams saturated fat, 18 grams carbs, 9 grams sugar (8 grams added sugar)
  • Ingredients include water, oats, cashews, cane sugar
  • Dairy free, soy free, vegan
  • Good eggnog flavor but thinner consistency; color is more beige than traditional eggnog-yellow

Decent options for eggnog

Almond Breeze Almondmilk Nog

  • 70 calories, 0 grams saturated fat, 14 grams carbs, 11 grams sugar (11 grams added sugar)
  • Ingredients include almond milk, cane sugar, rice starch
  • Dairy free, soy free, vegan
  • Decent flavor, good color, thick consistency
  • My top pick for taste among lighter eggnogs

 

Kalona Organic Classic Eggnog



  • 210 calories, 9 grams saturated fat, 15 grams carbs, 15 grams sugar (11 grams added sugar)
  • Ingredients include all-organic whole milk, cream, cane sugar, sugared egg yolks, eggnog spice, vanilla extract
  • No stabilizers, ultra-streamlined ingredient list
  • Decent flavor and texture; separates easily
  • It’s is highest in calories among all eggnogs sampled, but is lower in added sugars

Worst picks for eggnog

 

So Delicious Coconut Nog

  • 90 calories, 2 grams saturated fat, 15 grams carbs, 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
  • Dairy free, soy free, vegan
  • Flavor and color are all milder than traditional eggnog with a thinner consistency, yet added sugars are still 15 grams per half-cup

 

Most varieties of classic, organic + otherwise “natural” eggnog

  • 180-210 calories, 5-6 grams saturated fat, 25 grams carbs, 17-24 grams sugar (15-19 grams added sugar)
  • Standard ingredients include milk, sugar (labeled as sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and/or corn syrup), cream, egg yolks, nutmeg and annatto/turmeric for color

 

Most varieties of reduced fat, low-fat or “light” eggnog



  • 140 calories, 1.5 grams saturated fat, 20-25 grams carbs, 18-24 grams sugar (14-19 grams added sugar)
  • Reduced-fat milk or fat-free milk is the first ingredient, but also includes high fructose corn syrup or sugar
  • Typically only 25% fewer calories than classic eggnog with the same high sugar content (two days’ worth of sugar in a single cup)

 

Looking to creative with your eggnog? Try our Eggnog Frozen Yogurt recipe.

Editor’s note: Registered dietitian Molly Kimball offers brand-name products as a consumer guide; she does not solicit product samples nor is she paid to recommend items. A version of this originally appeared on WGNO.