Is Wine Low Carb?

March 2, 2010

Is Wine Low Carb?

On Friday night, I threw a party and the beverage of choice I served was wine. Also, last week someone tweeted me with the question, “Is
wine a low carb drink?”

So it’s time to do a blog post!

The answer to the question is, yes, most wines are low carb drinks, particularly in comparison to beer in general. For example, a typical 3 oz glass of red wine has about .5g of carbohydrates! Some of the sweeter white wines are a bit more problematic, with up to about 6g of carbs per serving.

However, it’s not really the carbs but the alcohol that’s the issue with wine.

Here’s what Dr. Atkins had to say about alcohol on his low carb diet:

Here’s the problem with all alcoholic beverages, and the reason I recommend refraining from alcohol consumption on the diet. Alcohol, whenever taken in, is the first fuel to burn. While that’s going on, your body will not burn fat. This does not stop the weight loss, it simply postpones it, since the alcohol does not store as glycogen, you immediately go back into ketosis/lipolysis after the alcohol is used up.

If you must drink alcohol, wine is an acceptable addition to levels beyond the Induction diet. If wine does not suit your taste, straight liquor such as scotch, rye, vodka, and gin would be appropriate, as long as the mixer is sugarless; this means no juice, tonic water; or non-diet soda. Seltzer and diet soda are appropriate.”

An important note here about wine is that it is one of the few alcoholic drinks that is also gluten-free. If you are avoiding gluten, you can get away with wine, tequila, and gin. Pick your poison!

If weight loss or fat loss is your goal, red wine is certainly far better than drinking a sugary (or corn syrupy) margarita, but keep in mind the 2-week plan (either in Atkins’ diet or the one in the Healthy Mind Fit Body book): you may consider cutting it out just for this period. One thing that I noticed after I cut way down on my carbs was that I could no longer tolerate a lot of alcohol. If I go beyond one or two glasses of wine, I start to feel crappy- which is a good incentive to keep alcohol in moderation!

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One comment on “Is Wine Low Carb?

  1. I always go by the rule that alcohol is really just empty calories. If you are willing to consume them, then that is your choice. I suppose once in a while is okay.

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