Low carb alcohol is the key to drinking when you’re going keto. Here are the best keto-friendly alcohol options from low carb beer, to keto wine and spirits.
Keto is the nutritional buzzword of the moment, and everyone seems to be jumping on the bandwagon. Popular among those who are looking to shed excess fat and improve muscle tone, the keto diet takes a lot of traditional nutritional wisdom and turns it on its head.
Typically, a “diet” involves lots of restrictions on what you can eat — and drink. But the good news is, you can drink alcohol while on the keto diet — you just have to choose the right drinks.
There are a number of keto-friendly alcohol options out there, but it helps to understand how exactly a keto diet works to start with, so you can make the right choices.
The keto diet explained is basically a very low carb and high fat diet. The name “keto” is derived from the term “ketosis”, which is a state your body enters when it has less readily available glucose to burn and so must rely on other fuel sources.
“Normally, the body will use glucose from foods (particularly carbohydrates) to provide energy for the body,” explains nutritionist and founder of The Wellness Group Madeline Calfas. “Ketosis is the process of converting fatty acids into ketones for the body to use as fuel instead of glucose from carbohydrates.”
While there are a number of different ketogenic diets out there, a standard keto diet usually limits your carbohydrate consumption to 10 per cent of normal intake — roughly 20 to 50 grams per day.
With this in mind, the big question is, can you drink alcohol on keto? In short, you can combine keto and alcohol — but there are some important footnotes. “Drinking alcohol whilst on a keto program won’t necessarily stop your body from going into ketosis, but it will slow the process down,” says Madeline. “The biggest misconception about drinking alcohol on a keto diet is that if you drink low- or sugar-free options then you will still burn fat. Remember, your body will process the alcohol before any other nutrients, including fat, and that will slow down the conversion of fat into fuel.”
So, the key is to drink in moderation and choose the right drinks, which will help keep you on track for a low carb diet.
The rule of thumb while on a keto diet is to choose low sugar and low carb alcohol options.
Fortunately, there is an ever-increasing number of keto friendly drinks available to us right now, as we continue to experiment with brewing, distilling, and fermentation techniques.
Wondering, can I drink a vodka soda on a keto diet? What about whisky? Well, spirits are generally a safe bet. Vodka, tequila, whisky, bourbon and gin all contain no carbs when enjoyed neat or on the rocks. And if that feels too hardcore, you can dilute with a low-sugar and low-carb mixer.
You should also avoid cocktails that contain sugar, fruit juices and soft drinks — and opt for low-sugar tonic water, soda and sparkling instead. Garnish your drinks with berries, citrus wedges, or herbs like mint, basil, and thyme — not only are they keto-friendly, they taste and look great.
Wine is also usually considered acceptable on a keto diet, but make sure you’re choosing dry wines, like pinot noir and sauvignon blanc as they are as they contain less sugar and are generally considered lower in carbs — containing less than four grams of carbs per 150ml serving on average.
The best part? Champagne is one of the best keto wine options, as long as it’s extra brut — which is one of the driest styles of the sparkling wine, with less than 1 gram of sugar per 150ml glass.
Since drinks that are high in sugar and carbohydrates should be avoided if you are on a keto diet, that rules out most beers. So, what is keto beer and is there such a thing even? Low carb beer options like Pure Blonde Ultra Low Carb Lager and Hahn Ultra Crisp, which have about 70 per cent less carbs than your average full-strength lager, can be considered more keto-friendly when it comes to brews.
And finally, hard seltzers are a fantastic option for those on a keto diet. Seltzers like White Claw Ruby Grapefruit are low-carb, and there are also zero carb alcohol beverages, making an ideal alternative to beer when you’re looking for a refreshing drink.
Safe to say, you don’t have to sacrifice your favourite alcoholic beverages altogether if you’re on a keto diet, there are plenty of keto-friendly alcohol drinks options out there to choose from.