Your Favorite Beer: Keto Friendly or Not?
Who wouldn’t want to enjoy their favorite beer at the end of a long day dealing with life’s ups and downs?
Beer is not only the most popular drink in the world — it’s also perfect for many occasions. It’s the go-to drink when chilling quietly in your home or in a bar.
Add some music in the background and it’s pure bliss.
When you’re on a keto diet, this perfect feeling turns into something else.
A keto diet is a rather demanding regimen with specific dos and don'ts, especially in what you eat and drink.
So, you’re probably wondering if it's time to ditch your favorite beer or not, right?
What Does It Really Mean to Be on a Keto Diet?
A ketogenic diet consists of foods with high fats and low carbohydrates.
Most of our body’s energy is derived from carbohydrates, as they produce sugar (glucose) when broken down. This is utilized by blood cells.
In a ketogenic diet, however, the aim is to replace carbohydrates with proteins as the source of energy.
When there are low carbs, a state known as ketosis is triggered as the body turns to stored fats for fuel. The liver metabolizes these stored fats, converting them into ketones which then fuel the body.
Therefore, being on a keto diet means giving up these high-carb foods:
- Processed sugars
- High sugar fruits
- Starchy vegetables
- Wheat pastries
And embracing these low-carb, high-fat foods:
However, for weight loss to occur when on a ketogenic diet, there has to be a calorie-deficit. This is achieved when less calories are consumed than what the body requires to function optimally.
Unfortunately, there are calories in almost everything we consume.
When on a keto diet, the most important calories to watch out for are those from high carbs.
But is it only the food we eat that's affected by a ketogenic diet? No.
Drinks are also at the top of the list. Most alcoholic drinks, especially spirits, beers, and mixed drinks, are high in carbs.
Your favorite beer, if high in carbs, could be doing you more harm than good while on a keto diet.
A keto diet only allows less than 20 grams of carbs a day. Past that, your body is kicked out of ketosis.
Is My Favorite Beer High in Carbs?
The main component in most beers is starch. To be more precise, the common ingredients across almost all beers are:
- Malted grains
Malted grains, whose starch is converted into simple sugars, may include:
- Malted barley
Moreover, depending on if it’s a light beer or a regular beer, added sugars are put in to act as sweeteners. Combined with the simple sugars derived from starch in malted grains, the carbs increase — hence a higher calorie intake.
In addition, alcohol is usually added to beer so as to bring out the tipsy feeling drinkers love. Unfortunately for those on a keto diet, one gram of alcohol contains seven calories that add no nutritional value whatsoever. So the higher the percentage of alcohol, the higher the net carbs.
From the desired low-carb diet's angle, the numbers don't look good.
Overall, per 12-ounce (12-oz) serving of beer, there's on average 10 to 20 grams of carbs.
It's safe to say that beer, including your favorite one, packs high in carbs. If the goal is to lose weight or maintain a healthy lifestyle on a keto diet, then that cold bottle of beer should be avoided.
How Does High-Carb Beer Affect Keto Diets?
High-carb beers contain a high concentration of carbohydrates. When the body is concentrated in carbs, the liver breaks them down into glucose. Glucose spikes insulin levels, thus reversing the state of ketosis.
As a result, ketone production is reduced as carbohydrates are once again the main source of energy instead of proteins.
The body is no longer in ketosis and excess glucose is metabolized further into fats which are stored in the body. Instead of losing it, further weight is gained.
Feels like all the fun has been sucked out from the room, right?
Fortunately, this isn’t entirely applicable.
Which Beers Are Low in Carbs?
After discovering that your favorite beer is probably high-carb, the question that follows is are there beers that are keto-friendly?
Keto-friendly beer means it's low-carb and thus low calorie. Luckily, there are plenty for you to choose from.
Note: ABV refers to “Alcohol by Volume” while 12-oz equates to 355 millilitres.
Produced by Miller Brewing Co. in Milwaukee, Miller Lite contains per 12-oz serving:
- ABV — 4.2%
- Carbs — 3.2g
- Calories — 96
Budweiser Select 55
Produced by Anheuser-Busch, Budweiser Select 55 contains per 12-oz serving:
- ABV — 2.4%
- Carbs — 1.9g
- Calories — 55
Produced by Cerveceria Modelo Mexico, Corona Premier contains per 12-oz serving:
- ABV — 4%
- Carbs — 2.6g
- Calories — 90
Produced by Heineken N.V., Heineken Light contains per 12-oz serving:
- ABV — 3.3%
- Carbs — 6.8g
- Calories — 99
Produced by Cerveceria Modelo Mexico, Corona Light contains per 12-oz serving:
- ABV — 4.5%
- Carbs — 5g
- Calories — 99
Devil's Backbone Brewing Co. Sparkling Ale
Produced by Devil's Backbone Brewing Company, Devil’s Backbone Sparkling Ale contains per 12-oz serving:
- ABV — 4%
- Carbs — 2g
- Calories — 90
Dogfish Head Slightly Mighty IPA
Produced by Dogfish Head Brewery, the Slightly Mighty IPA contains per 12-oz serving:
- ABV — 4%
- Carbs — 3.6g
- Calories — 95
Produced by Anheuser-Busch, Michelob Ultra contains per 12-oz serving:
- ABV — 4.2%
- Carbs — 2.6g
- Calories 95
This list is far from exhaustive, but it's enough to get you started on various low-carb beer options.
What Makes Low-Carb Beers Keto-Friendly
The common characteristic in low-carb beers is that they contain, on average, 5-gram carbs per 12-oz serving. These low carbs slightly affect the total net carbs required by the body daily.
As mentioned earlier, the success of a keto diet lies in calorie-deficit. Therefore, if drinking beer is done moderately — on a limit of two to three low carb beers a day — it's possible to keep within the set carb count.
Nevertheless, when consumed in large quantities, low-carb beer has the ability to act like high-carb beer.
When you exceed the allowed limit of three drinks per day, the body exceeds its net carb content limit of 20 grams.
With the high amount of carbs, the net calories are more than what the body needs. Thus, calorie-deficit isn’t achieved.
Keto Snacks to Enjoy Alongside Low Carb Beers
Does being on a keto diet but still reserving the freedom to enjoy a cold beer now and then sound too good to be true?
And it’s about to get even better.
It’s common practice to snack when drinking beer. However, most snacks, such as chips and cookies, contain high carb content.
Moreover, despite a beer being low-carb, it's still easy to exceed allowed carb counts. When it’s consumed frequently and regularly, empty calories build up and ketosis is stopped.
So, are there keto snacks to:
- Accompany a low-carb beer?
- Replace a low-carb beer?
The answer is yes.
When the body is undergoing ketosis, it experiences side effects such as:
- Sugar cravings
- Muscle cramps
To alleviate the discomfort caused by an absence of carbs, a keto snack is perfect.
Keto snacks are either low-carb or non-carb, and their calories per serving is quite low. They may include nuts, low-sugar fruits, and meat snacks.
For healthy meat snacking, our ready-to-eat keto meats come in a delicious variety of beef, turkey, and bacon cuts. Some of our popular keto meat snacks are beef sticks and handmade jerkies.
We put no added sugars in the meat snacks and, importantly, the meats are:
- 100% grass-fed
- 110% non-GMO
To facilitate healthy meat snacking, our snacks are packed in small batches. The small sizes prevent overeating, and also allow snacks to be easily incorporated into meal plans and keto recipes.
Who said chill time and keto don’t go together?
Nobody wants to keep calories counting when they are trying to relax. So keep the zen going with any of the Mission Meats range of snacks.
You have your low-carb beer, now visit our online store and get some of our top selling snacks to go with it.