Carbs and Sugar in Alcohol

We often drink alcoholic beverages periodically. According to research, a small quantity of alcohol is actually good for overall health. However, people who are trying to lose weight or are on a low carb diet will find it difficult to handle alcoholic beverages due to the high crabs and sugar in alcohol.

Carbs and Sugar in Alcohol

Alcohol is calorie rich beverage without any nutritional content. One gram of pure alcohol contains 7 calories, whereas one gram of carbohydrates contains 4 calories. Moreover, our bodies have a tendency to regard alcohol in a different manner than other forms of carbohydrates; our bodies utilize alcohol first as source energy before using carbohydrates or fats.

Many low-carb diets recommend avoiding alcohol in any form. This is due to the fact that depending upon the type and amount of drink a person has taken, the carbs and sugar in alcohol can cause erratic changes in the blood sugar levels. Alcoholic beverages are fermented beverages and are made from a high carbohydrate plant such as grapes, sugarcane, berries etc or a grain. The yeast utilizes the carbohydrate and produces alcohol during the process of fermentation and distillation. The carbohydrate content of the alcoholic beverage comes from whatever amount of sugar that is left, which differs in each type of alcoholic beverage. For example, there is small amount of sugar present in dry wine, in comparison to sweet wine, which has a considerable amount of sugar in it. Similarly liqueurs have high quantities of sugar added in them making their carbohydrate content high.

Different alcohols vary in content. Following is a table showing the amount of carbs and sugar in alcohol:

Alcohol

Serving Size

Type

Net Carb (g)

Sugar (g)

Total Carb (g)

Beer

1 can or bottle

Regular Beer

12.64

-

12.64

Light Beer

5.81

0.32

5.81

Wine

5 fl oz.

Red Wine

3.84

0.91

3.84

White Wine

3.82

1.41

3.82

Table Wine

4.03

1.17

4.03

1 glass

Champagne

2.80

0.81

2.80

Spirits

1 shot or jigger 1.5 fl oz

Bourbon

0.04

-

0.04

Brandy

-

-

-

Gin

-

-

-

Rum

-

-

-

Tequila

-

-

-

Vodka

-

-

-

Whiskey

0.04

-

0.04

Mixed Drinks

1 cocktail

Bourbon and Soda

0.05

-

0.05

Gin and Tonic

15.77

14.96

15.77

Rum and Cola

15.12

12.87

15.32

Scotch and Soda

0.04

-

0.04

Popular

Cocktails

1 cocktail

Blood Marry

4.48

3.60

4.88

Caipirinha

14.52

9.65

16.62

Cape Cod

12.86

11.30

12.86

Daiquiri

4.11

3.38

4.21

Grasshopper

15.31

14.06

15.31

High Ball

0.05

-

0.05

Kamikaze

15.30

13.70

15.40

Long Island Iced Tea

9.87

8.70

9.87

Mai Tai

29.76

24.78

29.76

Manhattan

2.07

1.15

2.07

Margarita

10.57

9.82

10.67

Mint Julep

4.21

4.16

4.21

Mojito

24.44

23.47

24.94

Seabreeze

19.86

17.75

19.86

Screwdriver

18.09

14.36

18.49

Tequila Sunrise

14.57

11.21

14.77

Others

1 glass

Liqueur

8.84

8.80

8.84

1 punch cup

Alcoholic Fruit Punch

7.85

5.88

7.85

1 drink

Sangria

22.39

19.08

22.59

No-Sugar and No-Carbs Alcohol

As we can see in the above table, hard liquor such as brandy, gin, rum etc have no-sugar and no-carbs. Let us discuss some of these no-sugar and no-carbs alcohol.

  • Brandy. Brandy contains no-carbs. Brandy is a type of distilled wine, and is made by the fermentation and distillation of a grape product. During the process of fermentation, the sugars of grapes are consumed by the yeast and converted into alcohol and carbon dioxide. By the time brandy is made by the process of distillation and fermentation, there is no sugar left in it, making it a wonderful low-carb drink. The alcohol content of brandy is usually 35-60% by volume.
  • Gin. Gin is produced from a grain as a base and is usually flavored using juniper berries. It contains 35% of alcohol by volume. There are no-carbs and no-sugar present in straight gin. However, the cocktails of gin such as gin and tonic have considerable amounts of carbs and sugars.
  • Rum. Rum is produced from sugarcane or molasses and contains no-sugar and no-carbs. There are various types of rum available such as amber rum, white rum, spiced rum, dark rum and aged rum. The rum gets darker in color as it gets older. Average rum contains 35% of alcohol by volume. Flavored rums should be avoided as they may contain added sugars.
  • Vodka. Vodka is produced from a grain base such as wheat, rye or potatoes. Its alcohol content varies from 35-50% by volume. Straight vodka has no-carbs and no-sugars. However, flavored vodkas should be avoided as they may contain added sugars.
  • Whiskey. Whiskey is produced from a fermented grain mash. The grains used are usually barley, wheat, rye or corn. It has no-carbs and no-sugars. The alcohol content is usually 40% by volume. Whiskey is available under different names, depending upon where it is produced and what grain is used to make it.

Considerations of Drinking Alcohol

As already stated, drinking small amount of alcohol may actually be beneficial for your health. However, excessive drinking is not recommended as it may cause many dangerous side effects. Women should limit their alcohol intake to 1 drink per day and men to 2 drinks per day. And if you are on a low carb diet, then it is better to stick to hard liquor. Other types of alcoholic beverages have empty calories and sugars without any essential nutrients, which over time will lead to weight gain.

Intoxication may result from drinking excessive amounts of alcohol increasing your risk of accidents while driving and also of dangerous and violent behavior. Regular drinkers of too much alcohol are also at an increased risk of developing various types of cancers such as breast, liver and colon. It also increases the risk of hypertension and liver cirrhosis.


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