Drinking alcohol and the low-carb diet

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Drinking alcohol and the low-carb diet

It is a question that is often asked. If you look up the ingredients and nutritional values ​​of beer, wine and especially cocktails, you will see tha

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It is a question that is often asked. If you look up the ingredients and nutritional values ​​of beer, wine and especially cocktails, you will see that all these drinks contain some (or large) amount of carbohydrates. However, there is a difference in the amount of carbohydrates between the alcoholic drinks. In this article we explain the differences and the effect of alcohol on your diet.

Production of alcohol
Alcohol is created by the conversion of carbohydrates. This production process is called fermentation or fermentation. With wine, fruit sugars are converted from fruit, with beer starch from grains. For example, the producers add alcohol to port and sherry. The alcohol is distilled with gin and whiskey.

How much sugar remains after the fermentation process?
This strongly depends on the type of drink. To make spirits, the fermented stuff is distilled. In this process (almost) all sugars are removed and only the alcohol remains. With wine it depends on the quality. In general, a good quality wine contains less carbohydrates (sugars) than a cheaper wine. Beer generally contains a reasonable amount of sugar.

How many carbohydrates are there in a glass of alcoholic drink?
Are you busy with your low-carbohydrate diet, but do not feel like leaving your favorite drink? Then that does not have to be a problem immediately. It’s helpful if you make sure you have a general idea of ​​how many carbs are in your favorite drink. This gives you an idea of ​​how much you can drink without crossing the limit set by yourself.

Carbohydrates in wine

Drinking alcohol and the low-carb diet

Even if you follow a strict low-carbohydrate diet (<20 g carbohydrates per day) it is possible to drink a glass of wine every now and then. Dry white or red wines contain only 0.5-2 g carbohydrates per glass. Sweet dessert wines, on the other hand, contain much more carbohydrates, about 10-14 grams per glass. A glass of wine is therefore great when following a low-carbohydrate diet. Then choose a dry wine or champagne. Of course it is not wise to drink a glass every day, but once a week can not hurt.

Carbohydrates in beer
However, beer is a problem when you are on a low-carb diet. It is not for nothing that people often talk about the infamous beer belly. There is a large amount of carbohydrates in beer. A normal glass of beer contains an average of 13 grams of carbohydrates. We therefore advise against drinking beer when following a low-carbohydrate diet.

Carbohydrates in spirits and mixed drinks

Drinking alcohol and the low-carb diet

Spirits such as whiskey, cognac, vodka and tequila contain little to no carbohydrates. A bigger problem are the cocktails and mixed drinks. These are often mixed with a sugary drink or flavored with table sugar. We therefore advise against consuming cocktails or mixed drinks when you follow the low-carbohydrate diet.

Would you like to enjoy a drink? Then use ‘light’ drinks to make mixed drinks or cocktails. So no Bacardi & Cola with normal Coke but a Bacardi & Cola with Coke light or zero. Some spirits such as vodka and gin can be mixed well with, for example, spa red. Be careful with fruit juices in your drink, they can contain quite a lot of carbohydrates without you noticing. Instead of using juices, liqueurs or sugar, you can also choose a drink that already has a flavor added to it. Think for example of vodka-lime.

Influence of alcohol on weight loss
The fact that alcohol is different from carbohydrates, proteins and fat does not mean, of course, that alcohol does not provide energy. 1 gram of alcohol even provides 7 kcal, compared to 1 gram of carbohydrates, which provides 4 kcal. So definitely try not to drink too much if you want to lose weight. Another problem with alcohol, weight loss and low-carbohydrate eating is the effect that alcohol has on your appetite. Limits disappear because of alcohol, but you also get more hungry. This can be because alcohol also causes an increase in your blood sugar, but it can also be because those limits are disappearing. You become significantly less good at resisting temptations. And a fries war or doner sandwich is quite tempting after an evening of good walking and drinking!

Conclusion
All in all, an alcoholic snack once in a while doesn’t hurt. It is wise to choose a drink with low carbohydrates, such as a dry red or white wine. If you drink alcohol (again) and then no longer lose weight or even gain weight, it can certainly be due to the alcohol. It is therefore wise to further limit or even stop your alcohol consumption. Also remember that alcoholic drinks hardly add anything to your diet in terms of nutrients. Everything in moderation!

Drinking alcohol and the low-carb diet

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