Low-carb diets have recently become increasingly popular for weight loss. It cuts out refined grains, starchy vegetables, and fruits, focusing instead on healthy fats and proteins. But how about alcohol? Can you consume low carb alcoholic drinks while on a diet? Let’s check the recommendations.
Generally, alcohol contains many calories devoid of vitamins, minerals, or other essential nutrients. In fact, alcohol is considered the second most calorie-dense product next to fat, containing 7 calories per gram. Aside from potentially causing nutritional deficiencies, they may also lead to weight gain over time.
Adding even just a single serving of alcohol to your diet daily can add hundreds of extra calories with less or no fiber, micronutrients, or protein.
How Many Carbs Does Your Favorite Drink Have?
Several types of alcohol are rich in carbohydrates. Some even contain higher amounts per serving compared to sweets, desserts, and soft drinks.
Your beer has a high carb content because it uses starch as one of its main ingredients. A 12-ounce serving of regular beer may contain as much as 12 grams of carbs.
Mixed drinks are also typically high in carbs because of the juice, sugar, and other mixers you add to improve flavor.
Your favorite hard lemonade, daiquiri, and pina colada contain approximately 32-34 grams of carbs per serving.
Luckily, there are low carb alcoholic beverages that can fit into your diet when consumed in moderation.
Are there carbs in wine? Yes, but it is relatively low, amounting to just 3-4 grams per serving. The light variety of beer is also low in carbs.
Meanwhile, pure forms of liquor such as gin, vodka, whiskey, and rum are all completely carb-free. However, many people mix juices and other sweeteners to these drinks to add flavor. If you want to keep your carb intake in check but still enjoy these low carb alcohol drinks, use sugar free tonic water or diet soda instead.
Top 5 Low Carb Alcoholic Drinks
On a low-carb diet, you can still enjoy a delicious drink on special occasions. Here are your 5 best bets:
1. Sparkling Wine or Champagne
Nothing says celebration like a glass of sparkling wine! While this can be expensive, you can enjoy it with your food even if you are on a diet. A glass of champagne only contains about 2 grams of net carbs.
2. Red or White Wine
There must be a good reason people have been drinking wine for centuries. Aside from tasting good, drinking an occasional glass of dry wine, which contains 2 grams of net carbs, is also fine on a low-carb diet.
3. Skinny Bitch
If you want to skip the sugar and artificial sweeteners completely, this low carb alcohol drink is perfect for you! This sparkling long drink with vodka, lime, soda, and ice tastes better than it might sound, plus it contains 0 grams of carbs!
Did you know that your favorite whiskey has 0 carbs and is gluten-free? Serve it with a little dash of water or less ice to enhance the flavor.
5. Dry Martini
This iconic cocktail made with gin and vermouth is also free of carbs! Garnished with an olive or a lemon twist, this remains to be one of the most requested drinks. Be sure to order it shaken, not stirred!
Moderation is Key
While there are low carb alcoholic drinks available, that does not mean they should become a regular part of your diet.
Again, alcohol still contains empty calories. Evidence shows that overindulging in booze, regardless of type, can hinder weight loss. When you drink alcohol, your body metabolizes it before other nutrients for fuel. This slows down fat burning and stores additional fat, carbs, and protein as fat tissue, resulting in excess body weight.
Aside from decreasing fat breakdown and affecting your waistline, heavy drinking can also have serious consequences when it comes to your health. It increases fatty acid synthesis, which causes the accumulation of triglycerides in the liver. Over time, this may progress to fatty liver disease.
Evidence shows that consuming at least 2 drinks per day can increase your risk of significant weight gain, compared to moderate drinking. It is best for women to stick to a maximum of 1 drink per day, while men should not aim for more than 2.
Village Warehouse Wine and Spirits offers a fair selection of low carb alcohol drinks, such as wine, whiskey, rum, gin, and more. We can help you pair them with low carb mixers too! Visit us anytime in Avon, Edwards, or Vail, CO.