Following the keto diet, you must limit many areas of your life. Drinking alcohol is one of those areas. Believe it or not, there are some drinks that you can enjoy on the keto diet. So what are the best types of alcohol for keto?
There are many different types of alcoholic drinks, from straight liquor to fancy-crafted cocktails. It cannot be easy to know which options are keto-friendly.
This post will go over keto alcohol from a high level. Be sure to check out the links to get more in-depth detail about each type of alcohol.
Table of Contents
About Alcohol on Keto
You can drink some alcohol in moderation while on the keto diet. However, it would be best if you kept in mind that alcohol does contain about 7 calories per gram. It’s also possible for keto to affect ketosis. The main concern is that alcohol can slow your progress.
The liver processes alcohol, and it can temporarily halt the body’s ability to burn fat for energy. This is because alcohol is a toxin in our body. The body makes it a priority to metabolize it first to get it out. This means you are essentially turning off the fat-burning process in your body until all of the alcohol has been burned off.
One thing that you need to watch out for is that your alcohol tolerance can be lowered significantly when you have been on keto for a while. Alcohol can hit you harder on keto. Therefore, you should be careful with your alcohol intake as you can easily become more intoxicated than you usually would.
So what are the best options for keto diet alcohol drinks? Keep reading to find out more.
Certain Beers are in the Clear
Unless you’re new to keto, you know that limiting carbs is the primary goal of the diet to help keep you in ketosis. Most beer is made from hops and barley, which are sources of carbohydrates.
Because of this, drinking beer on keto can be challenging and potentially derail your diet progress. A majority of beer is not keto-friendly, but there are some options that you can enjoy on occasion.
First, you’re going to have to lean towards light beers. As a general rule of thumb, the darker the beer, the more carbs it contains. A pint of Guinness has about 10g of carbs per serving vs. 3g per serving in Miller Lite.
So look for light beers, but some are lower in carbs than others. Some of the lowest-carb options include:
- Bud Select 55 – 1.9g carbs per 12 oz.
- Michelob Ultra – 2.6g carbs per 12 oz.
- Corona Premier – 2.6g carbs per 12 oz.
- Miller Lite – 3.2g carbs per 12 oz.
- Natural Light – 3.2g carbs per 12 oz.
- Beck’s Premier Light – 3g carbs per 12 oz.
- Coors Light – 5g carbs per 12 oz.
Check out this list of carbs in beer if you want more options.
Dry Wine Can Be Fine
Wine is made from grapes specifically grown for wine with higher sugar content than table grapes. This is because the yeast used in the process feeds off of the sugar to create alcohol. Yeast converts the sugar to alcohol.
One thing to know about wine is that it can be finished in different styles, and most wines contain some residual sugar left over because the yeast cannot convert 100% of the sugar into alcohol before it dies.
When it comes to wine on keto, you want the driest wine you can find. If it tastes sweet, it probably contains too much sugar. Cheaper wines and wine cooler-type products almost always contain sugar. Look for the driest wine you can find.
As a rule of thumb, some of the best wines for keto are:
- Sauvignon Blanc: has around 2-3 grams of carbs per 5-ounce serving.
- Pinot Noir: typically has around 3-4 grams of carbs per 5-ounce serving.
- Chardonnay: has around 3-4 grams of carbs per 5-ounce serving.
- Cabernet Sauvignon: has around 3-4 grams of carbs per 5-ounce serving.
- Merlot: has around 3-4 grams of carbs per 5-ounce serving.
Also, even the same varietal of wine may have different amounts of residual sugar, and manufacturers don’t have to list the carb count on the label. For example, Cabernet Sauvignon is generally a very dry wine, but one winemaker may leave additional sugar to alter the taste slightly.
It cannot be easy to know which wines are keto-friendly. That’s why we’ve put together a much more in-depth article about keto wine.
Liquor Works Quicker
Some people find it hard to believe, but liquor is one of the best options for the keto diet. This is because it goes through a distilling process that converts much more sugar into alcohol versus wine or beer.
Liquor may be a good choice if you’re looking for a keto-friendly drink. However, there are a few things you want to look out for. First, any liquor that is flavored is probably off-limits. This includes things like flavored vodka.
You also want to avoid many liqueurs. These are usually lower-alcohol versions of liquor mixed with other higher-carb ingredients. Examples of this would be Bailey’s or Kahlua. These types of drinks are almost always loaded with carbs.
When looking for keto liquor, you want the highest proof, or alcohol concentration, of straight liquor. Higher proof means that more of the sugar was converted into alcohol. Many of these liquors come in at basically 0 carbs per serving.
Here are some of the best low-carb liquor options:
- Vodka (0 carbs)
- Tequila (0 carbs)
- Gin (0 carbs)
- Scotch (0 carbs)
- Whiskey (0 carbs)
- Rum (0 carbs)
Take a shot or mix these with a keto-friendly mixer like diet soda, and you should be fine. Don’t go wild with the 151 because I mentioned that higher proof is better.
Cocktails can fit into the keto diet if you choose the right ones. Many cocktails are made with sugary mixers, which makes them taste amazing but off-limits for the keto diet.
You want to avoid cocktails made with fruit juices, sugary soda, energy drinks, and syrups like simple syrup, grenadine, and honey. These are packed with carbs that will surely kick you out of ketosis. You also want to avoid flavored liquors, as I mentioned above.
Identifying which low-carb cocktails can be difficult, we compiled a comprehensive list of the best keto cocktails. Take a look at that article to get some ideas.
Here are some quick picks:
- Vodka soda with a squeeze of lime
- Gin and tonic with a splash of sugar-free tonic water
- Rum and diet Coke with a lime wedge
- Tequila and soda with a splash of lime juice
- Whiskey and diet ginger ale with a slice of lemon or lime
- Mojito made with rum, fresh mint, lime juice, and sugar-free sweetener
- Classic unflavored martini with vodka or gin
While you should try to avoid alcohol if weight loss is your primary goal, cutting loose on occasion is ok. You can have a moderate amount of certain types of alcohol on the keto diet without too much impact.
It’s important to pick the right types of alcohol that are low in carbs. Fortunately, we’ve listed many options that you can drink. Shoot for light beer, dry wine, hard liquor, and sugar-free cocktails.
Avoid dark beers, sweet wines, and cocktails made with juices or syrups.
If you follow these guidelines, you can occasionally enjoy a nice drink and keep your keto diet moving forward.