Can I Drink Alcohol on the Keto Diet?

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Martini Glass with olives with letters under it that spell out the words Alcohol and Ketosis
One of the questions I'm asked a lot by my Keto Coaching Clients is "Can I drink Alcohol on the Keto Diet?". Can you? Well, of course, you can do anything you like. There's a tradeoff, however. Here's what you need to know about Alcohol and the Keto Diet: 

Lori Ballen is a member of the Amazon Associates Program and earns money from qualifying purchases. Posts contain affiliate links that benefit Lori as well.

One of the questions I’m asked a lot by my Keto Coaching Clients is “Can I drink Alcohol on the Keto Diet?”.

Can you? Well, of course, you can do anything you like.  There’s a tradeoff, however. There isn’t truly a Keto alcohol, although there are better choices if you are going to partake. Alcohol creates stalls as it prevents fat burning. Read More.

Here’s what you need to know about Alcohol and the Keto Diet:

Alcohols: Best and Worst

Whether you’re on a low-carb, paleo or ketogenic diet (we prefer eating plan or way of eating), you can undo all of your hard work by absent-mindedly guzzling sugar-laden drinks at the bar.

Because it’s so easy to misjudge the sugar content of the things we’re drinking, here’s a list of three beverages that won’t blow your carb budget as well as three to avoid the next time you’re out for a night of drinking.

My personal thoughts on alcohol are this. Prepare in advance. Decide before you go somewhere if you are going to partake in drinking alcohol and commit to that decision. When you make a decision TO drink, do it guilt free. Accept that fact that you are going to take a stall that week, and that it’s OK to do so. Sometimes, we have to let ourselves make a sacrifice in exchange for an “experience”.  

Keto Coach Lori Ballen

Low-carb winners

book cover with a report and an offer to get the report how i lost 50 pounds on the keto diet

Dry White Wine or Champagne

Although the grapes used to make wine are high in carbohydrates, during the fermentation process, the sugars are consumed by yeast and transformed into alcohol. How much sugar still remains differs with each wine: dry wines have around 2 to 4 grams a glass while dessert wines and sherry have much, much more.

Whiskey, Scotch, Brandy and Cognac

Distilled spirits are more often than not completely carbohydrate free. In fact, good quality whiskey aged in oak has a high phenol content, which has been shown to have an antioxidant effect in the body. Make sure to drink water between glasses to prevent dehydration.

Vodka with Lime

Although vodka is traditionally made with starchy vegetables or grains, the clear distilled alcohol at the end of the fermentation process is low in carbohydrates. Skip sugary mixers and instead go for a few slices of lime to mix things up.

Alcohol to Avoid


Sadly, there’s just no real way to enjoy a beer without indulging in a hearty dose of carbohydrates from the hops. Stout beers like Guinness or other dark, malty brews can contain 10 to 18 grams of carbohydrates.


Steer clear of the pre-mixed, sugary drinks and coolers that look like candy and probably contain as much sugar. Some of these mixes can contain up to 20 carbohydrate grams – not to mention the fact that often, their alcohol content is surprisingly high, too.


If it’s creamy, milky or reminds you of dessert, it’s probably packed with carbohydrates. Peppermint or chocolate liqueurs, schnapps, cordials and fortified wines often contain high fructose syrup and other nasty sweeteners.

While on a low-carb diet, it’s best to stay away from alcohol whenever you can. Opt for tea, water or good quality coffee without sweetener and you’ll avoid taking in hidden sugars throughout the day.

Although alcohol does provide more calories per gram than carbohydrates, your body will typically burn alcohol first, so its effects on your body are somewhat different.

Nevertheless, for those times when you need or want a drink, be prepared to make the smart choice to save your diet.

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