Published on: Sunday, 06 January 2013 22:50:00.
Alcohol isn't a problem for low-carb diets in and of itself, since it doesn't raise the body's insulin level. Restrictions on alcohol aren't necessary for a low-carb lifestyle. (We won't lecture you about the real health risks of frequent or heavy drinking. We're not moralists. Anyway, you know about those already.)
The problem with alcoholic beverages is that many of them also contain sugar and carbs. Beer generally has between 40 and 60 g of unfermented carbohydrates per liter, typically more in wheat beer than in pilsner. So drinking three large beers means you're getting about 90 g of carbs, as much as a whole plate of pasta. Also, not all of the sugar in sweet wines is fermented. Some late harvest wines have 50 g or more per liter.
Dry wines aren't a problem. According to EU regulations, only wines with less than 0.8% residual sugar can be labeled "dry". A very dry white wine would have only 1-2 g carbs per glass. Schnapps isn't really a problem either, since you usually drink (or should drink) only a very small amount. For the same reason, high sugar levels in liqueurs (20% or higher) aren't necessarily an issue.
For further information, I recommend the following lively and informative discussion on a forum for diabetics. Now I understand why it's so hard to get going in the morning after having a few beers the night before.
In closing, I'll admit that if I made an exception to our rule of "most things in moderation," it would be enjoying a cold beer. Sometimes, you've got to treat yourself!
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