How to find an enjoyable, low-carb alcoholic drink is something on the minds of many. The recent popularity of low-carb diets put a new focus on carbohydrates in foods. In an effort to capitalize on this situation, dozens of books have been published touting everything from easy, low carb-recipes to how to find a good low-carb friend and live the low-carb lifestyle.
One area that causes concern for low-carb dieters is pressure and influences arising from social situations. A big part of any social occasion – and many other occasions – for many people is alcoholic beverages.
Do alcoholic drinks have many carbs? What sort of drinks should I avoid? Should I abandon drinking altogether? Is there such a thing as a low-carb alcoholic drink?
Fortunately, little sacrifice must be made for the sake of counting carbohydrates. There are enough options and alternatives to allow you to enjoy good beer and other alcoholic beverages. Of course, as with anything else, you just need to make smart choices that fit into your particular low-carb diet and lifestyle. This article should serve as a general guide with basic information about low-carb alcoholic drinks.
Folks who want to enjoy a nice, cold brew and still maintain a healthy diet have a good friend: low-carb beer. Despite what you might guess from witnessing certain new product launches and advertising campaigns, low-carb beer is nothing new. In fact, all light beers are low-carb; just recently have brewers started so vigorously publicizing that fact.
Many people, even those on weight-loss and low-carb diets, enjoy beer regularly. Beer, like most other beverages, contains no fat. Light beer, in particular, is low in calories and carbohydrates. New low-carb beers, capitalizing on the terminology of the day, have been put to market in response to the new dieting trend, and often contain even less carbohydrates than light beer.
When it comes to dieting and weight loss, the “beer belly” is often mentioned, but no such thing actually exists. Consuming too many calories and not exercising enough will cause excess fat to develop in any part of the body, determined mainly by gender and genetics; for the most part, beer is irrelevant.
Most doctors agree the keys to weight loss are moderate food and beverage intake and regular exercise. Whether you’re on a low-carb, low-fat, low-calorie or some other type of diet, beer – especially low-carb beer – can be part of a healthy adult lifestyle.
Beyond beer, there are many more options for enjoyable low-carb alcoholic drinks. Wine is very low in carbohydrates; red wine runs at about two grams, and white wine has a little less than one gram. Straight alcohols are even better. Gin, vodka, brandy, whiskey, tequila, rum, bourbon – all of your favorites! – have no carbs.
Mixed drinks – drinks that contain alcohol and a “mixer” such as soda or juice – are where you’ll find some carbs, though. The exact number, of course, will vary depending on what you mix the alcohol with. You should always use diet soda, and try your best to find low-carb alternatives to fruit juices.
Many liqueurs have relatively high amounts of carbohydrates, and should be consumed sparingly if you’re watching your carb intake. Irish cream, amaretto, triple sec, cointreau and the like should be enjoyed at a minimum. The carb counts vary greatly. Bailey’s Irish cream, for example, has about six grams of carbs; amaretto, one of the highest, has about 17.
As with anything else related to dieting, moderation and common sense are your best friends. Amaretto isn’t the devil. It just has a lot of carbs, so make sure you aren’t suddenly and accidentally carb-loading after two amaretto sours. You can still enjoy plenty low-carb alcoholic drinks – whether it be a low-carb beer, a nice white wine or a whiskey-diet – without sacrificing your low-carb diet.