Bread may be out on your low-carb diet, but what about beer? You may have heard that alcohol stops your body from burning fat. While this may be true, it's very temporary, and as long as you're only having an occasional beer, it shouldn't affect your weight loss. Unlike hard alcohol, however, beer is a source of carbs, but there are low-carb options that might fit your diet plan. First consult your doctor about your diet and whether beer is OK before you imbibe.
Ultra Light Beer
Ultra light beers are very low in carbs, as well as calories. These include Budweiser Select 55, Michelob Ultra and Miller Genuine Draft 64. Each of these beers has 2 to 3 grams of net carbs -- the digestible carbs -- per 12-ounce serving. Other beers with 3 grams of carb or less include Molson Ultra, Labatt Aspens Edge and Schmidt's Light.
While these beers are very low in carbs and might make a good fit for your low-carb diet, fewer carbs generally affects taste. So you may want to try a few varieties to find a low-carb beer that suits your taste buds.
If you're looking for a more flavorful beer that still helps you keep carb count down, you might consider a light beer. These beers have about 100 calories and 6 grams of net carbs per 12 ounces. Although calories and carbs may vary from brand to brand, Miller light, Busch Light and Milwaukee's Best Light each have about 3 grams of net carbs per serving. Coors Light, Amstel and Corona Light are higher in carbs with 5 grams per serving. Other good light beer options with 6 grams of carbs or less per 12-ounce bottle include Genny Light, Beck's Light and Keystone Light.
Low-Carb Regular and Specialty Beer
A bottle of regular beer typically has about 13 grams of net carbs. But there are some brands that have 10 grams or less. Michelob Golden Draft and Busch beer each have 7 grams, while a bottle of Carlsberg has about 8 grams.
If you like specialty brews, there are a few options for you too. Shock Top Honey Bourbon Cask Wheat and Hurricane High Gravity Lager, both from the makers of Budweiser, have only 4 grams of net carbs. Flavored beers, such as Michelob Ultra Tuscan Orange Grapefruit, Michelob Ultra Pomegranate Raspberry and Long Trail Blackbeary Wheat, also make good choices for someone on a low-carb diet, with 6 grams of net carbs per bottle.
Beers to Avoid on a Low-Carb Diet
While there are a number of beers low enough in carbs to fit most low-carb diet plans, there are some you might want to avoid, especially specialty and craft beers. For example, a domestic brewer's black and tan and honey lager have 16 and 17 grams of net carbs per bottle. They're also high in calories with 166 and 175 calories, respectively. The beers from a small craft brewer that features seasonal options has 14 grams of net carbs or more per bottle, with their year-round brew having the most at 18 grams of net carbs and 174 calories per bottle. Another domestic craft beer tops them all with a 12-ounce bottle of ale that has 30 grams of net carbs and 330 calories.
- Atkins: Atkins 40 Frequently Asked Questions
- QuickandDirtyTips.com: Nutrition Diva: How Alcohol Is Metabolized
- MedlinePlus: Weight Loss and Alcohol
- Beer Tutor: Lowest Carb beers
- American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Low-Carbohydrate Nutrition and Metabolism
- HealthAliciousNess.com: Nutrition Facts Comparison Tool: Light Beer, Beer
- Realbeer.com: Calories, Carbs and Alcohol