Knudsen’s general rule of thumb for determining keto-friendliness of an alcoholic beverage is to look for drinks with 5 or fewer carbs per serving. The less the better, she says! “Even a drink with 5 grams of carbs accounts for 10% of the MAX amount of carbs you may have allotted for the day.”
Because carbs are so limited on the keto diet, Knudsen recommends utilizing those carbs to get important vitamins and minerals. Her suggestion is through vegetables like broccoli, kale, zucchini, mushrooms, and red bell pepper.
Knudsen warns anyone on the keto diet to steer clear of sugary drinks like margaritas, sangria, and daiquiris. “Any drink with fruit juice, sweetened sodas, or simple syrups are going to be loaded with carbs and could knock you out of ketosis in a snap. I would also think twice before selecting beer as your keto drink of choice,” she says. “Opting for a light beer will still typically cost you 6 grams of carbs, and a regular beer will cost you around 13 grams.”
Her recommendation for drinking on the keto diet? Besides White Claw, she says to stick to any low-carb beverages. “If you do decide to drink, I recommend keeping to options such as red or white wine (which is around 4 grams of carbs per 5-ounce serving), or liquor like vodka, rum, or gin (which all have 0 grams of carbs) with seltzer water.”
But even though alcoholic beverages can be a part of a keto diet, however, Knudsen doesn’t want to encourage it as a regular or integral part of the diet. “I would prefer a person’s carbohydrate allowance go toward optimizing nutrition,” she says.
The current Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that people who consume alcohol should always do it in moderation, which is defined as no more than one drink per day for women or two drinks per day for men.
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