Can I Drink Alcohol on Keto?


Next question?

Nah, I won't be that flippant. It's a good question that comes up a lot. I can tell you that I enjoy wine and spirits and on a regular basis. It hasn't kicked me out of ketosis and doesn't seem to have impacted my weight loss. One can't prove a negative, of course, so I don't know how much I would have lost if I had abstained, but I've been pleased with the pace at which I've lost.

And a predictable disclaimer here: I share my experiences and practices that have worked for me. Your experience may be different. Feel free to join in the conversation if you care to share.

True that, martini glass...

Now, it's important to note that many cocktails are made with mixers, fruit juices, simple syrup (which is equal parts sugar and water) or other ingredients which have carbohydrates. Those need to be avoided. My go to drinks are martinis - a bit dirty with bleu cheese olives. I also like a Manhattan. Or just straight liquor is fine. Wine, too.

I've been challenged on that last one before. Not by anyone knowledgeable about eating LCHF or ketogenic. As a matter of fact, she was literally shaking a bowl of pretzels and Chex mix under my nose, trying to tempt me. Snarky, eh?

*shrug* It happens.

I thanked her then advised I don't eat carbs. "Well you certainly do. That wine in your glass is loaded with carbs"...."Actually not", says I.

"Casey, wine comes from grapes. Grapes are fruit and that's sugar." (Again with the snark. "Really?" i wanted to respond. "I thought wine was made from bacon fat". But I resisted.)

I explained that there are special rules for alcohol. The fermentation process eats the sugars present in the grapes - or grains or whatever is being fermented. Sugar alcohols are left. They don't create an insulin response, unlike the original sugars.

Keep in mind, though, that the liver needs to process alcohol before it gets to much else. Booze is a toxin, after all. A fun-loving toxin. So it can be that while you won't get kicked out of ketosis from the alcohol, clearing the toxin is the liver's first priority. Things like fat burning will be delayed while that's going on.

All of that is a totally simplistic way to describe a really complex process, but it's how I look at it.

Now I'm off. It's almost five o'clock. Somewhere. ;)

The information I present here is based on my own experiences and personal research. While I’ve been fortunate to have exposure to leading researchers, physicians and journalists regarding the ketogenic specifically and LCHF (low carb/high fat) more generally, we are all responsible for our own choices, including what we put in our mouths. I welcome questions, comments and even civil criticism. I’m still learning. So, i you have something to add, go for it. Thanks!  - Casey