There seems to be a common misconception that all alcoholic beverages must be loaded with carbohydrates. The purpose of this article is to wade into the clear waters of the nutritional science of vodka and see if this claim can be challenged.
We will first give some background information and analyze the nutritional profile of this very popular beverage. Using this knowledge as a starting point, we will discover if vodka is keto-friendly and why, suggest other low-carb alternatives, and finally answer some frequently asked questions.
This is an important beverage to examine as consumption has increased in recent years.
This is a distilled alcoholic beverage that is colorless. It is made by fermenting a carbohydrate source such as grains or potatoes to create the alcohol. The alcohol is then reduced by mixing water and purified by using a distillation method.
The alcoholic content varies from 40 to 60 percent. This is known as proof in the US, with the proof score always double the alcoholic percentage. So 40% alcohol is 80 proof and so on.
This drink is believed to have originated in Russia or Poland in the 8th or 9th century, but all agree that by the 13th century this was a staple beverage in the Russian empire. It wasn't until post World War 2 that it got introduced to the West.
Currently the largest producers globally are Russia, Ukraine, the United States and Poland, with Poland being the largest producer in the EU.
A shot typically contains 1.5 fluid ounces or approximately 42 ml. This is considered the standard serving size for distilled alcohols, and has been used as the reference for the nutrition scores for macros in the list below.
Serving size: 1.5 fl. oz (42 g) of vodka, equal to 1 shot
As you can see, this drink contains nothing but calories. These calories are derived from the alcohol content. Each gram of alcohol is a costly 7 calories.
The standard alcohol fraction of distilled beverages is 40% or 80 proof, and this is the product used for the analysis. If you get 100 or 120 proof beverages, the calorie count will be higher.
Per serving, this beverage contains tiny traces of iron, copper and some B vitamins, but nowhere near enough to make any meaningful difference.
However, the important takeaway is that it is a zero-carb alcoholic beverage and won’t affect your carb limit for keto.
As it is zero-carb, yes, vodka is keto-friendly. However, be careful not to overdo it as this beverage is still highly calorific and excess calories translate into weight gain. There is also the element of addiction to alcohol and all the disease risks associated with alcoholism.
The government guidelines as set by the CDC advise that drinking in moderation means a maximum of 2 drinks per day for men and 1 drink for women. For distilled alcoholic beverages, one drink is equal to a 1.5 fluid oz serving.
As weight loss is a common objective in keto dieters, we would recommend having no more than one drink a day, with possible exceptions for the odd celebratory event, where two can be consumed.
Is flavored vodka keto-friendly? What about pasta sauce? Let’s see some examples to determine which varieties are okay for a low-carb plan:
This drink can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. The list below mention just some of them:
The section below will answer some questions that are commonly posed about the topic of having vodka on a low-carb plan.
It is made by fermenting a carbohydrate source such as grains or potatoes.
The fermentation of the carbohydrate substrate helps break down the long scratch molecules into individual sugar units. Yeast is then added to metabolize these sugars and create alcohol as a byproduct. This is then distilled many times over and then mixed with water to create the desired strength.
Excellent question! The yeast ferments the sugars into alcohol. Then the multiple distilling processes carried out to create the drink ensure that only pure alcohol remains, and all carbs are eliminated from the final product
Other than empty calories, I’m afraid not. It contains zero carbs, protein, and fat.
While this drink does contain a small amount of minerals and some B vitamins per serving, it’s nowhere near enough to be considered a good source of micronutrients.
This is a bit of a paradox! To test for glycemic index you need to first ingest 50 g of carbohydrate of test food. However this is not possible with vodka as it has zero carbs! So in effect all distilled alcoholic beverages have a glycemic index of zero.