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You may wonder whether drinking alcohol on low carb diet is good or bad. It really depends on the beverage as some alcoholic drinks are better than others.
Everyone enjoys alcohol once in a while. In healthy moderation you can even enjoy drinking it while following a diet low in carbs. So let’s look at the effects of alcohol on low carb diet whether just starting or in maintenance.
When the body first starts adjusting to a low carb diet (within the first two weeks) the liver is working in full swing processing fat storages. As alcohol is introduced to your body it puts strain on your liver because the liver must metabolize alcohol to prevent any harm to the body.
When the liver switches its focus to metabolizing alcohol the body is forced to prevent the burning of fat storage. As this is going on the liver goes into full swing and becomes overworked. One or two alcoholic drinks are okay daily, but anything more than that will be detrimental to your health, especially to your liver.
The best alcohol on low carb diet
If you find yourself drinking alcohol on low carb diet, remember that some alcoholic beverages that are “better” than others. The three basic categories of alcohol are: wine, beer, and liquor which each have their own carbohydrate profile.
Beers are the highest of the three in carbohydrates ranging from 2 to 12 carbohydrates per one serving. In moderation they can be incorporated to a low carb diet. Check out this post for a list of beers lowest in carbs.
The next lowest in carbohydrate count are red and white wines which typically contain less than one carbohydrate per serving. However some wines – like ice or dessert wines – are high in sugar and contain as much as 20 grams of carbohydrates per serving. Refer to this list of low carb wines for some good choices.
If you want to consume alcohol while following a low carb diet, hard liquor is probably your best bet. Hard liquor contains zero carbohydrates per one serving which is excellent for those seeking a low carb diet! Dr. Atkins in his book even approves of scotch, gin, and rye as hard liquors to consume on a low carb diet.
When drinking alcohol on low carb diet, keep in mind that alcohol prevents the body from synthesizing fat storage and makes the liver work at full speed. This is especially the case if you are just starting out on your low carb diet. However, it can be very difficult to cut alcohol out completely, especially at family or social gatherings.
So, if you find yourself in the position to drink, drink in moderation and try to stick to wines or hard liquor because they are lowest in carbohydrate count. Remember that beers are okay if you avoid those that are higher in carbohydrates.