Keto and alcohol consumption is a touchy topic for many people. I mean think about it; if you value social interaction and you typically unwind with a glass of wine, you need to read this article to the end.
Since regular soft drinks are not to be consumed on the keto diet, many often wonder if alcohol can be consumed. The truth is that alcohol is part of the life of so many individuals. These individuals use alcohol for various occasions, be it social or religious. One reason people think that alcohol should not be consumed on keto is that it contains carbohydrates. They worry that it is already stressful to stop eating certain foods and that consuming alcohol will only kick one out of ketosis. This article discusses which alcoholic drinks are safe for keto and those that are not.
Is Alcohol Keto-Friendly?
Although alcohol can be taken when on keto, it is very important to choose the right one. This is because alcohol contains carbohydrates, and like food, excess alcohol consumption can stop the process of ketosis. Yes, alcohol can be considered keto-friendly if it is consumed in moderation. If taken in excess, alcohol can slow down the process of weight loss. For those hoping to use the keto diet for weight loss, this point is of great value.
Remember that the body has to be in ketosis so that it can burn fat as its primary fuel instead of glucose. Consumption of alcohol makes the body burn alcohol first instead of fat directly. This, in turn, slows down the fat-burning process. Thus, although weight is lost when alcohol is consumed, the entire process is slowed down.
The empty calories packed in alcohol do not offer any nutritional value. In fact, the urge to consume high-carb food increases greatly following alcohol consumption. Since alcohol temporarily stops the fat-burning process, these calories may accumulate and cause further health problems.
Top Keto-Friendly Drinks
If an individual follows the keto diet, it is essential to know the low-carb alcohol options available. These low-carb beverages consist of those that are entirely free of carbs and those that are relatively low in carbohydrates. Usually, spirits like rum, gin, vodka, whiskey, and tequila are considered pure alcohols. They also contain no carb content in a serving size of 1.5 ounces or 44 milliliters. The low-carb variety of keto-friendly alcohols usually contain about 3 to 4 grams of carbs. Examples of these low-carb alcohols include red wine, white wine and light beer. These can be consumed alone or in combination with mixers that are also low in carbohydrates. Sugar-free tonic water, diet soda, and seltzer are good low-carb mixers. Their function is to improve the taste of the alcohol without adding carbohydrates to the body.
1. Rum: This pure alcohol does not have sugar or alcohol. It is made from molasses and is available in a variety of brands. The percentage of alcohol in rum by volume is about 35% on average. Usually, no flavoring is added to rum; however, one needs to be careful when purchasing rum. This is because there are rums that have artificial flavor in them. This can have a negative impact on ketosis.
2. Gin: Containing about 35% alcohol by volume, gin is another pure alcohol that can be consumed on keto. It is usually made from a grain base with citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons. Like rum, gin also has sweetened versions and additional carbohydrates. Care must be taken not to add these sweetened versions on keto.
3. Vodka: Like gin, vodka is derived from a grain base, but it contains about 35 to 50% alcohol by volume. The grain base could be potatoes or even wheat, and the end product is not usually flavored. It is best to stay away from brands of vodka that contain syrup and additional sugar to remain in ketosis.
4. Whiskey: Derived from fermented grains, whiskey does not contain any net carbohydrates. The percentage of alcohol by volume in whiskey is around 35 to 50%. Apart from having no carbohydrates, some whiskey may have other added health benefits. For example, some may be able to prevent the actions of free radicals in the body. One may not need to worry about added carbs in whiskey since most of them contain no carbs.
5. Tequila: Pure tequila is derived from the agave plant. Some brands, however, may mix tequila with other alcohols. It is essential to purchase pure tequila since alcohol mix may contain carbs. Tequila derived from the agave plant commonly contains 40% alcohol by volume.
6. Wines and Beers: As already mentioned, red wines, white wines, and light beer can be consumed on the keto diet. This is because they contain relatively low-carb content that will not impact ketosis. When consumed in moderation, red wine can reduce the risk of certain diseases such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Drinking white wine can also increase the antioxidant level and keep the organs functioning properly. It is best to aim for a beer with a high alcohol by volume percentage. Also, light beer is considered keto-friendly because it is believed that the darker the beer, the more carb it contains.
Keto and Alcohol: Avoid These
Having known the keto-friendly alcohols, one can consume on keto, it is necessary to list those to avoid. This does not only apply to alcohol since mixers too may contain sugar that can affect ketosis. Some of the alcohols, and mixers to avoid on keto include but are not limited to
– Sweet wines
– Fruit juice
– Regular beer
– Whiskey sour
It is thus clear that although the quantity of alcohol consumed should be monitored, the type of alcohol taken is likewise of importance. Choosing the right combination of mixed drinks is also necessary. This is because pairing a low-carb alcoholic beverage with a sugary mix does not achieve any results since the sugary mix nullifies the effect of the low-carb drink.
Alcoholic drinks can affect ketosis in many ways. It is best to stick with an alcoholic drink that has zero carbs or those with relatively low carbohydrates. When adding mixers to alcoholic beverages, it is also essential to choose those with low carbohydrates to reap the benefits of the keto diet. It is also worth mentioning that like food, alcohol must be taken in moderation while on keto. If it is consumed excessively, it can not only slow down the fat-burning process, but it can stop ketosis.