Will Alcohol Wreck a Ketogenic Diet?

Jameson’s in a hotel bar near Chicago

Judicious alcohol consumption is a reasonable component of many successful ketogenic diets. But the practice can also be a dangerous minefield. Anne Mullins over at DietDoctor has a great article that will steer you away from the mines. An excerpt:

Nyström notes that alcohol is actually the fourth macronutrient after protein, fats and carbohydrates, and that in many nutrition studies its intake is often overlooked. In Mediterranean countries like Greece and Italy, alcohol makes up about 10 % of caloric intake and may partially contribute to the touted benefits of the Mediterranean diet, Nyström says.

Drinking alcohol, however, may slow weight loss for some. Dr. Sarah Hallberg [R.I.P.] advises her patients who are trying to lose weight and/or reverse diabetes to have a maximum 1 glass of wine for women and 2 for men, and not every day. “If they experience any weight stall, I recommend they stop the alcohol completely,” says Hallberg.

Both Dr. Jason Fung and Dr. Ted Naiman discourage any alcohol use among patients in their care who are still trying to lose weight, reverse diabetes or heal a fatty liver (see point 5). “I find alcohol is not conducive to steady weight loss,” says Fung.

Read the whole thing to learn about the dopamine reward system, alcohol abuse and addiction, liver diseases, and hangovers. If you often drink to the point of hangovers, that’s too much alcohol!

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: The Advanced Mediterranean Diet includes a doctor-designed ketogenic diet as one option for weight loss.

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