The Healthy Alcoholic

A drink anyone? I love wine, and I love cocktails, and most of all, I love Pimms and lemonade (it’s a British thing, best enjoyed while lazing in a boat being rowed by someone else). Like most professionals in this city, alcohol seems to be a necessary part of every friday evening (well, and saturday evenings, and various other evenings, but shhhhh). But the carb content in wines and cocktails is so high that being on the diet was seriously disturbing my weekend activities, not to mention my wine blog! So what can I drink on a low carb diet? Pretty much all diets tell you to not drink any alcohol, but those are pretty hard diets to stick with! Luckily, there are alcohols that are low in carb and even carbless!

Wines: Wine calories are pretty high (and since wine pretty much always has some residual sugar, they have carbs). A dessert wine or a sweet riesling is high in calories and in carbs (approx. 150 calories and 16g of carbs for a 4oz serving). That definitely makes me think twice about opening all those bottles of riesling clogging up my fridge! But a 4oz glass (a stingy pouring) of red or white wine has around 100 calories and 2-3g of carbs. So a small glass is maybe doable a few times a week.

Champagne: If you’re just looking to hold a pretty glass and look like you’re drinking, then champagne or one of the other bubbly alternatives (e.g. brut or prosecco) is the way to go! A glass of bubbly has 85 calories and 1.2g of carbs (for a 4oz serving). But what do you expect? You are after all mostly ingesting air!

Beer: I guess the beer belly thing sort of gives this one away. A bottle of Bud Light has 110 calories and 6.58g of carbs. A regular Bud is 146 calories and 10.6g of carbs. I think this is definitely the avoid at all cost option (along with all cocktails).

And the winner is…HARD LIQUOR! Who would have thought that all those shots you drank last night was actually healthy! Distilled alcohols like gin, rum, whiskey, and vodka are all carbless. Yep, a shot of any of them contains 97 calories and 0 carbs. And who says you can’t have fun on a diet! The reason why there are no carbs is because it’s pure alcohol, which is not technically considered carbs.

Caveat: some sources say even pure alcohol can cause an insulin response, which is why diets discourage you from drinking any of that stuff. But let’s just pretend I didn’t read about that part for a while. 🙂

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