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Can I Drink Italian Wine When on the Ketogenic Diet (And the Tips for Making the Diet Work)?

Christmas has come and gone and we’re now fairly deep into 2021. January feels like its flown by and, for many of us, we’re still in a post-Christmas hangover. That extra bit of weight you’re carrying thanks to the Christmas feast hasn’t disappeared and the change you expect from the new year hasn’t manifested itself just yet.

So, what do you do?

You find a diet that will help you to shift the extra pounds and feel refreshed again!

Now, there are a ton of diets that you can try to achieve this goal. But one of the most popular at the moment is the ketogenic (keto) diet. In this article, we’re going to briefly explain what that is, offer a few tips for following it correctly, and answer the big question that any Italian wine lover will have if they’re trying out the keto diet.

What Is the Keto Diet?

At its core, the keto diet focuses on reducing your carbohydrate intake and increasing your intake of healthy fats. There’s a lot of science that goes into why you might want to do this, but we’ll aim to keep it basic here.

Carbohydrates are often seen as your body’s main source of fuel. When you eat carbs, your body puts them through a process that turns the carbs into glucose, which it then uses to fuel your cells. And that’s all well and good as long as you’re burning through the carbs that you eat. The problem comes when you overconsume carbs. When this happens, the excess glucose produced gets stored away, leading to you gaining weight. There are also issues with insulin production and the potential for a resistance to develop that we won’t get too deep into here.

The idea behind the keto diet is to replace your carb intake with healthy fats.

At first, this doesn’t seem to make sense. After all, surely consuming fat means you gain weight. And again, that may be the case if you overconsume. But the idea here is that reducing your carb intake will force your body to burn through its glucose reserves, which helps you to lose some weight. Once that’s happened, your body will then switch its focus to its next fuel source – fat.

That’s when the real weight loss happens. Your body consumes the fat stores in your body and uses them to keep you running. And because you’ve switched from high-carb foods to healthy fats in your diet, you continue to feed your body this new fat-based fuel source. 

The result?

You burn the fat you consume through a process called ketosis while not having to worry about the excess weight and high blood sugar that eating a lot of carbs leads to.

That, at least, is the theory behind the keto diet, at a basic level. There’s a lot of debate about whether this is a healthy way to eat, which often boils down to the way people follow the diet itself. With the keto diet, you eat a lot more fresh foods, including meat and fish, while cutting out foods like bread and pasta. As long as you account for any nutritional changes, either through your diet or via supplementation, there appears to be little reason why the keto diet will be bad for you. And a quick search on the web shows that it certainly works, as there are tons of people who have lost weight thanks to keto.

Now, we come to the most important question…

Can You Drink Italian Wine When on the Keto Diet?

The simple answer is yes, as long as you drink to moderation.

Italian wine doesn’t suit the keto diet quite as well as more pure alcohol drinks. The likes of vodka and whiskey are the best alcohols for the diet simply because they contain no carbs at all.

Italian wine is obviously a little different as the sugars from the grapes play a large role in the drink. So, the key question here is whether wines contain enough carbs to take you out of the ketosis state that you’re place yourself in when following the keto diet.

Thankfully, they don’t as long as you consume them in moderation.

According to Healthline, a 148ml serving of Italian red or white wine will contain somewhere between 3 and 4g of carbohydrates. With the keto diet, you’re typically looking to pull your carb intake down to less than 50g per day. As long as you’re not eating high-carb foods alongside your Italian wine, there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy a glass or two and still stay well within your limits.

So, with that out of the way, let’s wrap things up with a couple of quick tips for sticking to a keto diet:

  • Vary the types of foods you eat as much as possible. As with any diet, boredom can be one of the biggest challenges that you face. The great thing about keto is that it encourages you to experiment with more fresh foods, so give yourself a chance to explore new options.
  • Consider keeping a food diary so you can track your carb intake. The goal with the keto diet is to stay in a state of ketosis. If you lose track of your carb intake, you may fall out of this state without even realising it.
  • Don’t beat yourself up if you fall off the wagon. Okay, so you had a sugary dessert that took you over the 50g carb limit you’re trying to stick to. It’s just one day and it won’t have a huge impact as long as you get right back on the horse.
  • If you have specific dietary issues, always talk to a doctor before trying the diet. Make sure that you’re getting everything your body needs on a nutritional level before jumping right in.

And with that, we can conclusively tell you that it’s okay to drink Italian wine when you’re on the keto diet. Just don’t overindulge and make sure you track the rest of your carb intake and you should be fine!

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