Usually, when people talk about alcoholic beverages, they talk about beer, then wine, then hard liquor. But we’re going to talk about them in reverse order.
Why is that? Because pure distilled spirits – like bourbon, brandy, gin, rum, tequila, vodka and whiskey – don’t have any carbs in them. So we’re going to work our way up the carb ladder, not down it.
So what effect do distilled spirits have on a low carb diet? As I explain in my forthcoming book, the body burns up alcohol before it burns up anything else. In other words, if you drink alcohol, the burning up of your carbs will be delayed until the alcohol is burned up. Plus if you drink way too much, the calories in alcohol will get you.
But if you drink within reason, and otherwise take care to watch your carbs, you can drink distilled spirits on a low carb diet.
You’ll notice I keep saying “distilled spirits.” I’m using that term for a reason. Where people mess up with alcohol on low carb diets is what they mix their spirits with.
If you drink your bourbon neat, on the rocks or with water, there are no carbs. Even if you mix your bourbon with (ugh!) diet Coke, there are no carbs. But if you mix your bourbon with Coke, you’ve just added a bunch of carbs to your drink.
Unfortunately, all wines have carbs. But the good news is that some wines have fewer carbs than other wines.
As a general rule, white wines have fewer carbs than red wines. And dry wines have fewer carbs than sweet wines.
Here’s a wine chart to give you an idea of carbs in wines. The servings are five ounces, and I’ve listed the wines lowest carb to highest.
Type of Wine
|Sauvignon Blanc||White||3.01 grams|
|Pinot Grigio||White||3.03 grams|
|Pinot Noir||Red||3.40 grams|
|Cabernet Sauvignon||Red||3.82 grams|
You can see if you’re trying to keep under 30 carbs per day, then there is surely some room for wine if you want some.
The news is not so good for beer drinkers unless you like light beers. Regular beers have way too many carbs for our diet. Here’s a beer chart for carbs, again sorted from least carbs to most:
|Budweiser||Bud Light||3.20 grams|
|Miller||Miller Light||3.20 grams|
|Coors||Coors Light||5.00 grams|
|Coors||Coors Dry Beer||6.00 grams|
|Budweiser||Bud Ice Light||6.50 grams|
|Budweiser||Budweiser Beer||10.20 grams|
|Coors||Coors Beer||10.60 grams|
|Miller||Genuine Draft Beer||13.10 grams|
|Miller||Miller High Life||31.10 grams|
Again, if you want to have a beer or two on this diet, and light beers are OK with you, you can drink beer and still lose weight.