Can You Drink Wine on the Keto Diet?

KETO 411

You’ve probably heard the word “keto” being thrown around a lot recently - at least we have! But what does keto mean, really? We did some research and are here to bring you the quick 411 on the keto diet. Keto - formally known as ketogenic - is a low carb, high fat diet. Sounds simple enough, but if we want to get technical, the specific breakdown is 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbs. Reducing carb intake and replacing those carbs with fats is important because it sends the body into a metabolic state called ~ketosis~. Ketosis is what contributes to weight loss, and all of the other amazing health benefits of the keto diet.

Bye Brain Frog

Essentially, reaching the state of ketosis transforms the body into a powerhouse for burning fat into energy. It also helps turn fat into ketones, sending boosts of energy to the brain (say buh bye to brain fog). The keto diet also leads to massive reductions in blood sugar and insulin levels. By health experts’ calculations, lower blood sugar + lower insulin levels + extra ketones = massive health benefits. These health benefits include a decreased chance of heart disease, cancer, epilepsy, brain injuries, and acne. Sounds good to us!  


Keto Friendly or not?

If you’re going keto, it’s important to avoid foods that aren't “keto friendly.” Some foods you’ll likely have to say no to include pasta, fruit, grains and starches, soda, smoothies, ice cream and cake (darn). But luckily, there are tons of amazing foods you can eat including meat, fatty fish, eggs, butter and cream, cheese (thank goodness), nuts, seeds, low carb veggies (think mostly green veggies, tomatoes, onions, etc), and healthy oils. If you’re thinking about going keto, there are tons of guides, resources, and recipes out there to explore.   

How Wine Effects Ketosis?

Keto & Alcohol… A Love Story? 

Yes, it’s true...the official keto diet is technically alcohol free. And it’s no surprise that drinking alcohol - especially in excess - isn't exactly healthy or keto friendly. On the other hand, many experts have shown that some types of alcohol, in moderation, such as tequila, beer, wine, etc., can have pretty incredible health benefits (I'm looking at you red wine!). Though the hard core keto dieters might think differently, it’s common to enjoy alcoholic drinks when celebrating or socializing with friends. And many keto lovers believe that indulging in the occasional drink - even while sticking to the keto diet - won’t completely derail your health and fitness goals. In fact, there are plenty of alcoholic drinks you can drink while on keto.

The Science 

So, how exactly does alcohol affect the body in ketosis? Let's break it down. If you go keto, your body starts to use fat for energy instead of carbs. As a result, the liver plays a key role in turning your fats into little energy molecules called ketones (see where the name comes from!). Now this process works great when you are eating high fats and low carbs. However, when you drink red wine (or white wine…whatever floats your boat) your liver focuses all of its attention on metabolizing the alcohol instead of fat. Until your liver is able to process all of the alcohol your body won't produce ketones from fat, which could slow down the fat-burning process. While this isn’t ideal, having a drink - or drinking in moderation - is likely to have a minimal effect on your overall health and fitness goals. Single serving, canned wines are a great way to ensure you know exactly how much you’re drinking, which might help you monitor how your body reacts to dr m,n;’nking alcohol while on keto.

What Wines Are Safe to Drink While on the Keto Diet?

So Can I Have Wine? 

Ahhh...the question we’ve all been thinking about.. which wines are best to drink while on keto? First, while the official keto diet has a strict no alcohol policy, some experts are giving certain types of alcohol (hello wine!), especially in moderation, the OK. According to Nutritionist Colette Heimoiwitz, “the liver can make ketones out of alcohol. So technically, when you drink, you’ll continue to produce ketones and [thus] will remain in ketosis”. 

Wine VS. Beer 

Not all alcohol options are equal (but you already knew that!), especially while in ketosis. Wine is much lower in carbs than beer, so it’s actually best to drink wine over beer while you’re going keto. Bev is an incredibly keto friendly drink with zero grams of sugar and 3 carbs for a can (plus it's cute). 

Quality? Does it Matter?

It is important to stay away from cheap wines (think anything under ten bucks or that you slap) as they can come loaded with residual sugar. Try to stay with dry wines as they usually have 1 gram or less of sugar, and low carbs (ahem… Bev anyone?!) A few keto-friendly dry white wines sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio, and chardonnay. A few keto-friendly dry red wines include Pinot Noir, merlot, riesling, and Cabernet Sauvignon.

How Many Carbs are in Wine?

Carbs & Keto

While all wines taste delicious, they can range pretty widely in their nutritional value and also in the amount of carbs they have. A lot of carbs is not what you want on a keto diet, but luckily there are more than enough wines with low carbs that are keto friendly. Typically speaking dry wines have the lowest carb intake. Here are some of the top Red wines with the low carbs: 

Pinot noir has 3.4 grams of carbs per a serving (usually five ounces). 

Merlot has about 3.7 grams of carbs per a serving, 

Cabernet Sauvignon has usually 3.8 grams of carbs per a serving. 

It's important to stay away from certain red wines like port wine or sherry wines as they have 9 grams of carbs or red sangria which can have13.8 grams of carbs per serving and ten grams of sugar (not really keto friendly). SImilar to red wines, it's important to look for dry wines when picking a white wine with low carbs. Some good white wines with low carbs include

Sauvignon Blanc has 3 grams of grams of carbs

Chardonnay which has 3.2 grams of carbs

Champagne, Prosecco, Pinot Grigio, & Pinot Blanc all have 3.8 carbs (all with 3.8 

You might want to stay away from moscato on a keto diet which has 7.8 grams of carbs or white sangria with 14 grams of carbs per a glass and 9.5 grams of sugar. 

Tips for Drinking Wine on Keto

To Drink or Not?

Whether you are on a diet or not, sometimes you just need a nice glass of wine. Luckily, wine can fit into almost any diet plan through thoughtful consideration. Here are some good tips to consider when drinking wine on a keto diet: 

  • First, beware of your tolerance: most people on a ketogenic diet or low carb diet experience a much lower tolerance alcohol than they are used to. Make sure to pace yourself and watch your intake.
  • Be careful of dehydration as ketosis is a natural diuretic and you have to be watchful of how much water you are drinking along with the alcohol. 
  • When you choose to drink wine, have some fats alongs with it, so you don't get an isolated blood sugar spike which could ruin your ketosis.
  • Remember everything is okay in moderation!