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I’ve spoken before (on this podcast) about drinking on a diet, specifically on how to min-max your alcoholic beverage (and drunk eating) choices to keep you on track, and stave off any extra weight gain. However, this advice wasn’t reeeally keto-specific, and so the questions still remains: can you drink wine on keto? Will wine kick you out of ketosis? Should you drink one keto?
Okay, I’m not going to touch that last one. I’m not your mom, or your RA – if you want to have a glass of wine, I won’t shame you about it. I’m also not going to get into the help implications of drinking wine (or beer, or hard liquor) right now. I will, however, let you know what you’re in for if you do choose to drink wine and you’re on a ketogenic or very low carb diet.
So, how many carbs are in wine?
First, it’s important to establish that not all wines are alike. Beyond distinctions like color or grape varietal or region where the wine was grown, you have the most important factor in a glass of wine (at least for us ketoers): sugar content.
Fortunately for us, the sugar content (and carb count) of wine is a lot lower than that of something like a hard cider or beer. Unfortunately, most wines don’t actually list this number on the label, which can complicate the shopping process just a bit.
On average, a glass of wine (5 ounces, which is actually not as much as you would hope), contains between 1 – 7g of sugar. This is obviously a pretty big range, so it’s important to try and find a wine on that lower end of the spectrum.
Which wines have the least sugar?
So, this gets a little tricky because reds, whites and rosés can all be both high in sugar, and low in sugar. So sadly, you can’t just tell how much sugar is in a wine from the color.
In general, there are a few things you want to look out for. “Dry” wines will be your friend – these are wines where the sugar has been fermented out, leaving the wine less sweet tasting, but also less carb-heavy. On the opposite end of the spectrum are dessert wines. These are the ones packing all the sugar. Wines labeled “late harvest” also tend to be very high in carbs, and thus should be avoided on a ketogenic diet.
The same can be said for champagne. “Dry,” “brut,” or “extra brut” champagnes and sparkling wines have the least amount of sugar and will be the most keto-friendly of the lot.
A quick reference can be found below (from Shape). Keep in mind these vales are averages, and not necessarily true across the board!
Pinot noir: 0.68g carbs per ounce
Cabernet franc: 0.71g
Cabernet sauvignon: 0.75g
Pinot blanc: 0.57g carbs per ounce
Sauvignon blanc: 0.6g
Pinot grigio: 0.6g
Will I be kicked out of ketosis if I drink wine?
Assuming you have had a reasonable number of carbs before drinking wine (whatever that number is for you), and that you didn’t drink a bottle of super sugary wine, one or two glasses should be fine to include in a night out. Keep in mind that because your body cannot properly utilize both alcohol and food at the same time, you’ll be storing those extra calories as fat. Not a big deal for keto enthusiasts, so long as you don’t overload on the carbs while drinking!
So, can I drink wine on keto?
TL;DR – Yes, you can drink wine without being kicked out of ketosis. Look for dry wines, and avoid having too many carbs before or after your wine fiesta!
And, if you’re looking for some kitschy wine-themed accessories to spice up your wine night, check out this collection.