The subject of alcohol and carbs is usually presented by the media in a misleading or incorrect manner. That’s according to the author of The Low Carb Bartender: Carb Counts of Beer, Wine, Mixed Drinks and More.
Author Bob Skilnik says that descriptions of alcohol and its effects on blood sugar is usually wrong. The same is true of the metabolization of carbs. Especially in the case of low-carb diet books.
To correct this misinformation he has corrected the top five myths about alcohol and carbs.
- The liver doesn’t break down alcohol into sugar. In fact, most people have a dip in their blood sugar (glucose) levels when drinking alcohol. Alcohol is eventually broken down by The liver breaks down alcohol into carbon dioxide and water. It simply doesn’t create any sugar.
- Non-alcohol beers don’t contain lower carbs than regular beers. To the contrary, they’re all higher in carbs than an alcoholic beer. In fact, some almost double in carbs. Yet many websites falsely claim that Non-alcohol beers are both alcohol-free and low in carbohydrates. They’re neither.
- The glycemic index (GI) of beer, wine, and spirits is zero. The false belief that alcoholic beverages have high GIs has existed for decades. It simply isn’t true.
- There are carbs in all wines. Even the driest ones. Fermentation always leaves some residual sugar in the form of carbs. The only alcoholic beverages that can possibly have no carbs are distilled spirits.
- There is no sugar or carbs in distilled spirits. They include rum. whiskey, gin, tequila, vodka, etc. Although they begin as fermented products, the distillation removes all carbs. 1
Remember that standard drinks of beer, wine, and spirits have the same amount of pure alcohol. It’s six-tenths of one ounce. A standard drink is a
- 12 ounce can or bottle of beer.
- Five ounce glass of dinner wine.
- Shot (One and one-half ounces) of spirits.
Thinking that one is more alcoholic than another is another myth.
Resources: Alcohol & Carbs
- Calories, Carbs, and Fats in Beverages.
- Alcohol, Calories and Weight: Surprising Facts Unknown to Most M.D.s
- Drinking Alcohol Reduces Weight Gain.
- Drinking Alcohol and Weight, Obesity and BMI.
- Liquor vs Non-Alcoholic Beverages for Health.
- Bodzak, C. Eat with Intention. NY: Race Point, 2016.
- Cheskin, L., et al. Nutrition and Weight Control. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Med., 2011.
- Jessen, C. Supersize vs Superskinny. Take Control of Your Weight. London: Channel 4, 2008.
- Katzen, M. and Willett, W. Eat, Drink & Weigh Less. N.Y: Hyperion, 2006.
- Skilnik, Bob. The Low Carb Bartender: Carb Counts of Beer, Wine, Mixed Drinks and More. Adams, 2005.
This web site does not benefit from the sale of any of these books. Nor is listing an endorsement.