But-sorry to be the bearer of bad news here-there is going to be a fair amount of sugar in each glass (or bottle…depending on your cider of choice).
Because its fermented with fruits like apples, peaches, and pears, all of which are naturally high in sugar, cider actually has a much higher sugar content overall than beer, which is fermented with lower-sugar grains, explains dietician Samantha Rigoli, R.D., founder of Healthy to the Core in New York City.
That doesn’t mean you have to avoid it entirely if you’re trying to lose weight, though. In fact, cider may even have an edge on beer (despite the sugar levels) because beer has a higher alcohol content-which also means more calories.
There are seven calories per gram in alcohol, Rigoli notes, so the higher your drinks alcohol content, the more calories it has.
That means if you’re looking to drop a few pounds-and still get your drink on-the best hard ciders for weight loss are those with a lower alcohol content. Anywhere from 4.5 to 5.5 percent alcohol, rather than 7 to 10 percent alcohol, is a good range, says Rigoli, so you’re not hitting your body with the sugar-alcohol one-two punch. These picks all hit that sweet spot.
1. Strongbow Cider Gold Apple
Several different apple varieties make up this cider, striking a balance between sweet and sour.
Per serving: 172 cal, 0 g fat (0 g sat), 19 g carbs, 19 g sugar, 10 mg sodium, 0 g protein; 5.0% ABV.
2. Stella Artois Cidre
This one blends three types of apples to create a crisp and refreshing finish.
Per serving: 180 cal, 0 g fat (0 g sat), 22 g carbs, 17 g sugar, 70 mg sodium, <1 g protein; 4.5% ABV.
3. Angry Orchard Green Apple Hard Cider
Get that fresh, tart green apple taste with hints of melon and kiwi.
Per serving: 210 cal, 0 g fat (0 g sat), 31 g carbs, 21 g sugar, 10 mg sodium, 0 g protein; 5.0% ABV.
4. Austin Eastciders Ruby Red Grapefruit Cider
This one’s perfect for when you’re ready for fall, but not quite set to give up on summer.
Per serving: 160 cal, 0 g fat (0 g sat), 17 g carbs, 13 g sugar, 20 mg sodium, 0 g protein; 5.0% ABV.
5. Magners Original Irish Cider
This is the oldest Irish cider on the market (it’s been around since 1935, to be exact), according to the Magners website, so I think it’s safe it deserves its spot on this list of the best hard apple ciders for weight loss.
Per serving: 150 cal, 0 g fat (0 g sat), 14 g carbs, 12 g sugar, 35 mg sodium, 0 g protein; 4.5% ABV.
6. Samuel Smith’s Organic Cider
This cider’s actually registered with The Vegan Society in the United Kingdom, according to its website, making it 100 percent safe for vegans and vegetarians alike.
Per serving: 178 cal, 0 g fat (0 g sat), 2.9 g carbs, 2.6 g sugar, 200 mg sodium, 0.5 g protein, 5.0% ABV.
7. Crispin Original Cider
With a mix of Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, and Washington apples, this cider’s crisp and refreshing, with a “lingering green apple flavor,” according to its website.
Per serving: 150 cal, 0 g fat (0 g sat), 15 g carbs, 10 g sugar, 30 mg sodium, 0 g protein, 5.0% ABV.
8. 2 Towns Pacific Pineapple Unfiltered Cider
Just because fall is approaching doesn’t mean you have to totally forget about summer. This cider’s billed as being “juicy and tropical,” thanks to the pineapple, per its website. Go drink it on a hammock somewhere while you still can.
Per serving: 170 cal, 0 g fat (0 g sat), 12 g carbs, 12 g sugar, 0 mg sodium, 0 g protein, 5.0% ABV.
9. Ciderboys First Press
This cider’s described as “sweet, crisp, and tart,” but also, look at how pretty that packaging is.
Per serving: 180 cal, 0 g fat (0 g sat), 24 g carbs, 24 g sugar, 10 mg sodium, 0 g protein; 5.0% ABV.
10. Woodchuck Amber Hard Cider
This cider, made with bittersweet apples, is for those who prefer a drier flavor.
Per serving: 160 cal, 0 g fat (0 g sat), 13 g carbs, 9 g sugar, 10 mg sodium, 0 g protein; 5.5% ABV.
11. Harpoon Craft Cider
This cider has a tart and refreshing taste, with no added flavorings or preservatives.
Per serving: 140 cal, 0 g fat (0 g sat), 10 g carbs, 7 g sugar, 0 g protein; 4.8% ABV.
12. Samuel Smith Organic Cider
This cider has is made from organic apples and has a dry finish.
Per serving: 151 cal, 0 g fat (0 g sat), 10 g carbs, 9 g sugar, 8.4 mg sodium, 1.8 g protein; 5% ABV.
13. Ace Apple Hard Cider
This cider is less fizzy and has more of an apple juice taste.
Per serving: 160 cal, 0 g fat (0 g sat), 9 g carbs, 9 g sugar, 10 mg sodium, 0 g protein; 5% ABV.