CAN I DRINK ALCOHOL ON KETO?

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Can I drink Alcohol On Keto?  This is one of the first questions most people ask when they start the keto diet. Let’s look at all the facts and then decide which alcohol is best and which alcohol is okay.

What Effect Does Alcohol Have On Ketones?

What does this mean? Well, it simply means that while alcohol is being metabolised, ketone production is placed on hold.

Alcohol contains calories. Seven calories per gram. A little less than fat, which is 9 calories and more than carbs and protein, being 4. Alcohol, however, contains no nutrients. Unlike other nutrients such as protein and fats, alcohol is metabolised differently. Alcohol is not stored in the body like protein and fats, and a major burden is placed on the liver to oxidise alcohol to remove it from the body. 

Choosing The Best Alcohol On Keto

Some alcoholic beverages contain different amounts of carbs, calories and alcohol and if you choose the better options, alcohol can be enjoyed on keto. Here are some of the beverages that are best to avoid and others that are more acceptable on keto.

Alcohol To Avoid On Keto

  • Wine (especially sweet wines)
  • Beer
  • Cocktails
  • Sugary mixers that contain soda, syrups or juices
  • Liqueur
  • Ports and Sherry

Low Carb and Zero Carb Alcoholic Drinks

  • Low Carb Beer
  • Tequila
  • Gin
  • Brandy 
  • Whiskey, Scotch or Bourbon
  • Vodka

There are a number of low carb beers available in South Africa. Castle Light claims to only have 2g of carbs per bottle. Another low carb beer claiming to have no carbs is the Stellenbrau – Craven Lager.

Tequila, gin, brandy, whiskey and vodka are all considered zero carb alcoholic drinks and are better to have than sugary mixers and liqueurs.

The general rule for wine is usually the sweeter the wine the higher the carb content. Red and white wines usually have between 3-4 grams of carbs per 100g and the carbs in red wine, especially the dry red wines, can be better. Dry Farm Wines are keto, low-carb friendly wines. They curate only the highest quality natural wines from small, sustainable family farms (mostly from Europe). Most of their wines have less than 1g of carbs/L.

Bonus tip: Lower your fat intake when you are planning to consume alcohol.

Deciding whether you should drink alcohol or not, is dependant on your health-related goals. If you are someone that wants to lose a lot of weight, abstaining from alcohol for some time can help your weight loss efforts. Also, keep in mind that alcohol does lead to less inhibition and can stimulate your appetite. These are major factors you should also consider when asking if you can have alcohol on keto. 

Sound advice is to usually stick to eating strict keto and avoiding alcohol for at least 90 days. This gives your body time to become fat-adapted. If you are in a social situation where alcohol is served, opt for one of the low carb alcohol options instead.

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