As a social drinker, one of the reasons I never opted for going on a diet before was because I didn’t want to be the awkward one in a bar who just stares off into space. This and the fact that most diets are restrictive and difficult to follow.
However, I found the keto diet to be different in both these regards. It turns out there are certain types of alcohol you can drink (in moderation) on keto! I wondered if my favorite drink – tequila was on the “allowed” list.
Is tequila keto? As tequila is considered to be a pure form of alcohol and doesn’t contain any carbs, it is keto friendly!
If you are still unsure or don’t know much about the drink (I don’t blame you, different people have varying preferences), read ahead to find everything about tequila and ketosis!
What is Tequila?
Have you heard of the drink but aren’t quite sure what it is? In true Norman Osborne style, you know, I am somewhat of a tequila expert myself!
Tequila is an alcoholic drink in the form of distilled spirit that is made out of agave plants. This plant is native to certain regions of Mexico only. Hence, the country is the only producer of this alcoholic drink. In the US as well as Mexico, Tequila is quite popular and considered to be a necessary ingredient for different margaritas.
The Making of Tequila
The fermented juice of the blue agave plant is distilled to get tequila by first growing the plant for up to ten years. Once harvested, this underground bulb of blue agave is removed. Its leaves are cut, and the bulb is baked in a brick oven. This converts the starch present in the bulb into sugar.
You then crush the baked agave to extract the juice from it, which is fermented via yeast to convert the extracted sugar into alcohol. The alcohol is then distilled either using a column still or a pot to get a concentrate with high-alcohol levels. This is called tequila ordinario.
This is where the process can start to differ depending on the type of tequila being produced. For starters, for some tequila, you let the concentrate age in the barrel, while for others, you blend them immediately.
Finally, the distillate is diluted with water to get the desired strength. Usually, alcohol strength lies between 35-40 percent per volume.
The Nutritional Profile
I am sure; as a drinker, you already know that alcohol doesn’t provide you with any such nutrition. But, to understand whether or not it is tequila keto, it is still important to see the breakdown of the drink’s nutritional profile.
As reported by USDA, 42 grams of tequila (which is synonymous with one shot) contains:
- 97 calories
- 0 grams of fat, carbs, fiber, sugars and protein
- 0.42 grams of sodium
- 14 grams of alcohol
Worth the Shot: Is Tequila Keto Friendly?
Let’s first begin by learning more about the keto diet mechanism. Keto diets involve increasing your fat intake and reducing your protein and carbs intake in the hopes that the body would change its default mode of burning carbs for energy in favor of fat. When this happens, you lose weight.
Hence, it is recommended that you eat low-carb, high-fat food items during your keto. While tequila isn’t high-fat, it is low-carb, hence fulfilling the requirement of ketosis.
From Starch to No-Carbs: What’s the deal with tequila
When I first delved deeper into the world of tequila, I wondered how it didn’t have any carbs, given that it starts off as pure starch.
It turns out that as the concentrate is distilled, all naturally occurring sugar is removed from it. And unlike other types of alcohol, no additional sugar is added to it. Additionally, because tequila has no carbs, it is assumed that its glycemic index is zero as well. In other words, it won’t cause any spike in your blood sugar level.
This is what makes tequila keto-friendly.
Tequila Lovers: Beware!
I would like to add a word of caution here. Just because pure tequila does not have any carbs doesn’t mean all tequila-based drinks can be consumed in keto.
This is because there are certain drinks that have tequila in them that are high in carbs. For example, a tequila sunrise has 30 grams of carbs and 252 calories. If you want to enjoy alcohol during your diet, make sure you consume its pure form.
How many Calories are in a serving of Tequila?
As you might have read above, one shot of tequila has 97 calories. This might seem to confound some. After all, there are literally no nutrients in the drink. Where, then, are the calories coming from? Well, they come from the only thing that does have a number attached to it – alcohol!
One tequila shot has 14 grams of alcohol. And each gram of it adds 7 calories to the mix. So, your calorie intake when drinking tequila depends on how much alcohol you consume. So, moderation needs to be maintained. Also, check the alcohol per volume of the drink beforehand.
Keto Friendly Tequila Cocktails
Here are my favorite keto-friendly tequila drinks that satisfy my craving for the drink without being too plain.
1. Skinny Margarita
To make this cocktail, you will need 2 oz of silver tequila, sparkling water in lime flavor, 1 oz lime juice, 1 teaspoon of monk fruit sweetener, and 1 strip of hatch green jerky. Mix it all (except sparkling water) in a cocktail shaker, shake it up, pour it into a glass full of ice and sparkling water and then garnish with lime wedges or jalapeno slices.
2. Bloody Maria
Think of the classy Bloody Mary and replace vodka with tequila, and voila, you have bloody maria! To make it, add 2 oz of tequila, 2 teaspoons of horseradish, 1 oz of unsweetened vegetable juice, a quarter teaspoon of smoked hot sauce, half teaspoon of ground black pepper, and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice to a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously and serve.
3. Keto Mojito
While Mojitos are generally delicious, they are also packed with sugar. To satisfy that mojito craving, you can make a low-carb one instead, with a keto sweetener. To make it, add 6 fresh mint leaves to the cocktail shaker and muddle it. Then, add 2 oz of tequila, 2 oz of club soda, 1 oz of lime juice, and 1 teaspoon of sweetener. Shake well and pour it into a glass full of ice. Add mint as a garnish on top.
Is tequila keto? Thankfully it is! But, I would still not recommend you take so much of it that you need a hangover soup in the morning. After all, it does add to your calories.
I am sure you can hold your alcohol very well but don’t push past a single shot for the sake of your diet. So, drink responsibly and in a way that is keto-friendly.
And if you are looking to satiate your cravings beyond alcohol, check some of my other guides out to learn about food items that are surprisingly allowed on keto and how you can make the most out of this revelation.
Please click on one of the links below to learn more about keto friendly foods: