Whether they tend to drink only on special occasions or want to make a night at home more special, many people love to imbibe. Beer is an easy option to grab out of the refrigerator and many people love the taste, along with the buzz it brings. But when you are on a diet, everything changes–and the keto diet is no exception.
Is beer keto or should you opt for a different alcoholic beverage? For more information on how beer fits into your keto diet, here are all the facts you need to know and some alternatives to consider.
Is Beer Keto-Friendly?
The short answer to whether beer is keto-friendly is no, it is not. Most traditional beer is too high in carbs to keep your body in ketosis. The longer answer is that it depends. People whose bodies are well-adapted and who are careful to stay below their carb threshold may be able to consume some beer.
The average beer has roughly 13 grams of carbs with some light beers coming in lower.  Without plans to consume any other carbs for the day (or at least keeping them to a very low level), you could theoretically have a beer without kicking yourself out of ketosis.
The Most Keto-Friendly Beer
The good news is that you may be able to enjoy a light beer more easily while staying keto. Light beer has an average carb count that comes in just under 6 grams, making this a doable solution if you want to imbibe.  Keep in mind that these beers often have a lower alcohol content in addition to being made with fewer carbs.
One thing to note if you do make the switch to light beer is that there is an obvious flavor change from traditional beer. Most people liken it to drinking water with a slight beer flavor as opposed to enjoying your favorite brew. For those who do not mind a lighter flavor, this could be a great option. However, light beer is not the only option for keto dieters.
If you want to remain in ketosis but still enjoy the flavor of a good craft beer, many breweries are also hopping onto the keto bandwagon. Many of the top low-carb craft beers have fewer than 3 grams of total carbs per can, not to mention that they also have great flavor and low calories. They also tend to have a higher alcohol content than some light beers. These are great keto-friendly options, even if you might have to pay a little more for them at the grocery store or liquor store.
Alternatives to Beer
If you’re willing to forgo the taste of beer, there are many alcoholic keto beverages that are low carb, so you can stay in ketosis while taking part in the festivities with friends and family. Often, a good solution is to go with liquor and a low-carb mixer like soda water, diet soda, or flavor-enhanced water.
Hard liquors like tequila, vodka, rum, whiskey, and gin don’t have carbs, making them a great choice if you’re looking to stay under your carb limit for the day. Just be sure to avoid the sweeteners, fruit juices, sodas, liqueurs, and other high-carb ingredients often found in cocktails.
Some types of drier red and white wines that are low in sugar content–and therefore low in carbs–are also a good keto substitute for beer. The serving size of wine is also smaller than the serving size of beer, which naturally reduces the carbs you’ll consume in a single glass.
Keeping in Ketosis
While some beers are certainly designed to be consumed while on the keto diet, you may have a harder time finding them in your local grocery store. Light beer is usually a good option for those who are hard-pressed to find a low-carb craft beer, though you may not enjoy the taste or overall alcohol content. When in doubt, stick with tried and true no-carb alcohol like hard liquor, along with basic mixers like seltzer and lemon juice that will allow you to stay in ketosis.
Ashley Simpson is a freelance writer dedicated to helping people improve their
lives -- in every way possible. She understands that food and diet are necessary
components to a healthy lifestyle and experiments with both. When she isn't
typing away, she enjoys spending time with her husband and son.
United States Department of Agriculture. (n.d.). Alcoholic beverage, beer, regular, all. FoodData Central. Retrieved November 24, 2022, from https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168746/nutrients
United States Department of Agriculture. (n.d.). Alcoholic beverage, beer, light. FoodData Central. Retrieved November 24, 2022, from https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168749/nutrients
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