The keto diet is a high fat, low carb diet with all kinds of amazing benefits. If weight loss is your keto diet goal, you should know that alcohol can hinder weight loss. This is because your body burns off the alcohol before anything else, so the more alcohol you drink, the more difficult it will be to get the weight off. Plus, some can be high in calories, low in nutritional value and alcohol can stir up your appetite. But if you're prepared to tread carefully, here are the best and worst of keto-friendly drinks.
Carbs In Different Kinds Of Drinks
Here is a list of the carb counts in some popular drinks. Moderation is critical, but with alcoholic beverages, moderation is always essential.
Beer, otherwise known as liquid bread because of the grain used in its creation, is one of the highest in carb counts when it comes to alcoholic drinks.
However, carb counts vary widely in beer brands. Ultra-light American beers like Select 55 and Michelob Ultra each have less than 3 grams of carbs per bottle. Busch Light has 3.2 grams of carbs per bottle, and regular beers like Budweiser have 10.6 grams of carbs, right up to Corona Extra, and Guinness Extra Stout each have 14 grams and 10 grams of carbs per bottle, respectively. You may even find low-carb IPAs in a store near you.
Flavor Malt Beverages (Hard Seltzers)
If you’re looking for an alternative to beer, hard seltzers, also known as “spiked seltzers”, might be a great option for you. Neither considered a beer nor a spirit, most hard seltzers are low in carbs, ABV and calories making them the perfect, refreshing drink on a summer, low carb day.
Try brands like White Claw, Corona, Bud Light or Truly that stay below 100 calories and 3 grams carbs per can.
Happy days - pure spirits like rum, vodka, gin, brandy, whisky, and tequila have 0 grams of carbs! Because pure alcohols have zero carbs, they can be keto-friendly as long as you don't add sweeteners, juices, sweet creams, or other soft drinks.
It is important to monitor what you add to the pure alcohols! For instance, just adding tonic to gin boosts its carb load by 30 grams or Coca Cola to your rum drink can add up to 40g of carbs. Instead, try having a vodka, soda water, and lime as a lovely, refreshing drink with zero carbs.
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If you're consuming between 20 and 50 grams of carbs per day, you can probably add dry wines to your regular diet without much disruption to your weight-loss. Make sure to check in with your health goals, and if wine drinking is interfering with them, take it out of your diet.
While dry wine may not impact your blood sugar or insulin levels very much, sweet wines certainly can. Gewurztraminer and Rieslings are two examples that have up to 20 grams of carbs per glass. Dessert wines like ice wines, Muscato, Tokaj, or fortified wines like Sherry, Madeira, and Port all contain fructose, and their carb counts are 5 grams or more per glass.
Wine coolers, also known as alco-pops, spirit coolers, or hard lemonade, are drinks laden with sugar. While we don't like to tell you to avoid anything completely, this may be an exception. For instance, Smirnoff Ice (vodka beverage) contains around 32 grams of carbs (more than 2 ½ tablespoons of sugar) in its 330 mL (11.2 oz) bottle. Similarly, a Bacardi Breezer has around 22 grams of sugar per bottle.
Five Low Carb Alcoholic Drinks
So here it is, the five lowest-carb alcoholic drinks you can enjoy on a keto diet.
A glass of dry red or white wine has about 1-2 grams of carbs, along with small amounts of glycerol and other carbohydrate remains from the wine-making process. These add up to less than 2 grams of total carbs per glass.
Therefore, if you love wine and can drink it in moderation, feel free to enjoy a glass with your delicious low carb meals.
Champagne or Sparkling Wine
Overall, champagne and sparkling wines are okay for keto dieters. However, as with any beverage, their low-carb status depends on the sweetness/sugar content. The fermentation process leaves behind some natural sugars, contributing to the final carb count of the beverage.
Brut Nature has only 0 to 3 grams of residual sugar, while Brut has up to 12 grams. Extra Dry has 12 to 17 grams of residual sugar, and Doux can have more than 50 grams. So before you celebrate, have a quick look at the label.
Although whiskey is made of grains, the final product is carb and gluten-free. Don't overdo it with the ice, but a little dash of water can actually enhance its flavor. There are many different classes and types from which to choose.
A classic dry martini is gin with dry vermouth - stirred or shaken, then chilled and garnished with a twist of lemon or an olive. Vermouth is a flavored fortified wine that contains 3.9 grams of carbs per ounce.
Just don't add fruit juices or sweet liqueurs.
Vodka & Soda
This works for any hard alcohol when mixed with soda. And by soda, we mean the carbonated water, not the sweet carbonated drinks. Other choices are gin and soda, tequila and soda, whiskey and soda, and so on. Just add a squeeze of lemon or lime, and off you go.
Please don't confuse soda with tonic. Tonic contains around 32 grams of net carbs in a 12-ounce serving - so not on this list.
Related: Top 12 Keto-Friendly Beers
There you have it, the highs and lows of the alcohol carb count. As you see, you can include the occasional alcoholic beverage with dinner or to celebrate beautiful occasions. A glass of wine with delicious, keto desserts can be a lovely end to the evening.
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