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The Keto Diet and Alcohol: Here Are All the Low-Carb Drinks You Can Actually Have

If you're on the keto diet to lose weight, you'll want to choose your alcohol wisely.
Drinks

You may have to cut out some of your favorite foods while on the keto diet, but that may not be the case for some of your favorite kinds of alcohol. You will have to part ways with thicker brews such as stouts and porters, but you won't necessarily have to wean off your most beloved bottle of bourbon either. Maryann Walsh, MFN, RD, CDE gives us the rundown of all the types of alcohol you can still enjoy while blasting fat on the keto diet.

Here are the low-carb drinks you can sip on while you're following a keto diet.

Can you have alcohol while on the keto diet?

"Absolutely. Just like with any other diet, weight loss plan, or lifestyle, you can incorporate alcohol without hindering your success," says Walsh.

If you do drink, these are the hard liquors that you can drink on the keto diet that don't contain carbs:

  • vodka
  • gin
  • rum
  • tequila
  • whiskey

Keep in mind though that alcohol, despite being of free of carbs, is still caloric. Wash says that alcohol costs 7 calories per gram, so a 1-ounce shot of hard liquor will clock in at about 100 calories.

When you consume alcohol matters too because if you eat it with a meal, it could throw a wrench in the all-important ketosis process.

"Once you ingest alcohol, the rest of the nutrients being metabolized get put on the back burner, slowing down the process of turning fat into ketones for energy—similar to how the body would have to put processing glucose on the back burner for someone who is consuming carbs for energy," says Walsh. "Essentially, when you drink, your metabolism slows down for a bit while your body processes the alcohol."

In other words, if you want to reap the benefits of the keto diet, you're going to want to limit alcohol consumption. The lack of carbs in your diet is another reason to keep alcohol intake to a minimum. Why? Carbs are what primarily soak up the alcohol and stave off inebriation.

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What types of alcohol are you allowed to drink while on the keto diet?

Gin, vodka, tequila, whiskey, and rum are all fair contenders as long as they aren't flavored with any added sugars. In fact, there are even some keto-friendly cocktails you could make with these liquors.

"Dry white and red wines are fine in small amounts as well, with one of the driest being brut Prosecco or Champagne having only about 1 to 2 grams carb per glass," says Walsh. "Lastly, there are numerous [spiked] seltzers on the market now such as Truly and White Claw, which have on average about 0 to 2 grams carbs per can, so they are a great choice for those on a low-carb diet, along with light beers such as a Michelob Ultra."

Again, the key is moderation and mindfulness. Alcohol lowers inhibitions, correct? Remember that when you're out at the bars sipping on whiskey on the rocks and fighting temptations to join your friends in getting that late-night slice of pizza. Don't let alcohol—low-carb and all—derail your health goals!

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Cheyenne Buckingham
Cheyenne Buckingham is the news editor of Eat This, Not That!, specializing in food and drink coverage, and breaking down the science behind the latest health studies and information. Read more