If you like to enjoy an alcoholic beverage but are worried about wrecking your diet, you may ask: What's the lowest calorie alcoholic drink? Fortune notes that a 1.5-ounce shot of 80-proof Crown Royal Canadian whiskey contains a relatively small 96 calories.
Calories in a Shot of Crown Royal
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines a standard drink as 14 grams of pure, undiluted alcohol. You'll find this quantity of pure alcohol in 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine and 1.5 ounces (or one shot) of 80-proof whiskey, rum, vodka or gin.
Fortune notes that Crown Royal was the first alcoholic beverage shipped in the U.S. to feature nutritional information on the brand's packaging. In addition to the 96 calories in a shot of Crown Royal, Crown Royal has no carbohydrates or fat, so it may fit into your weight loss plan.
If you're on the ketogenic (keto) diet, you may wonder if Crown Royal whiskey is on the plan's permitted food list. The short answer is "maybe," according to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Some keto diets allow small portions of hard liquor, while other keto programs do not. Also, be aware that mixed drinks that contain syrups, juices or flavored alcohols may be off limits. Check your keto diet's instructions for details.
What's the Lowest Calorie Alcoholic Drink?
So what's the lowest calorie alcoholic drink? Per the U.S. National Library of Medicine, a 12-ounce light beer only has 103 calories, while the same-sized regular beer has 153 calories. Craft and higher-alcohol beers have notably higher calorie counts, ranging from 170 to 350.
If you prefer wine, pinot noir is your lowest-calorie option, with 121 calories for a five-ounce glass. Burgundy, merlot and cabernet sauvignon only have 122 calories, while red table wine has a slightly higher 125 calories. White table wine and Chardonnay have 128 calories, while a sweeter red dessert wine packs a hefty 165 calories.
If you prefer distilled spirits rather than beer or wine, you might ask: What's the lowest calorie liquor? There's not much difference: a 1.5-ounce shot of 80-proof whiskey, vodka or gin only adds 97 calories to your daily diet. The 94-proof versions of these alcoholic beverages are slightly higher, at 116 calories for a similar portion.
Read more: Calories in Beer, Wine, Vodka and Whiskey
Negative Effects of Alcohol Consumption
The Mayo Clinic explains that men and women have different moderate alcohol consumption thresholds. Healthy women of every age, and men over 65, can consume up to one drink daily. For men age 65 and younger, the guidelines allow up to two drinks per day.
If you exceed the moderate consumption threshold, the extra calories could trigger weight gain, says Stony Brook University. In addition, alcohol's effects can cause you to make less-than-optimal decisions about your meals and snacks.
Over time, drinking too much alcohol could lead to development of an apple-shaped body that contains more body fat around your midsection. Having more belly fat has been linked to an increased risk of developing health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes and some cancers.
Alcohol consumption, regardless of the amount, can also negatively affect your body's immune system. The 2015 edition of Alcohol Research: Current Reviews summarized evidence that alcohol consumption can damage your body's ability to fight infection or recover from tissue-related trauma.
Researchers noted that alcohol consumption's negative health effects can occur even if the user's consumption isn't of a chronic nature. Short-term binge drinking can also impair immune system function.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "Alcohol and Public Health: Frequently Asked Questions"
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: "Calorie Count: Alcoholic Beverages"
- Fortune: "Now You Can Know for Sure if Your Booze is Fat Free"
- Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: "Diet Review: Ketogenic Diet for Weight Loss"
- Mayo Clinic: "Alcohol: Weighing Risks and Potential Benefits"
- Stony Brook University: "FAQs about Alcohol Consumption and Weight Gain"
- Alcohol Research: Current Reviews: "Alcohol and the Immune System"