Scotch Nutrition Facts: How Does Whisky Fit Into A Keto Lifestyle?

Informational

Glass of whiskey with ice

Table of Contents

Whether you are on a keto diet or not, scotch is an excellent choice for a drink. However, there is a lot of misinformation about what scotch can and cannot do. This blog post will go through some common myths about drinking scotch while following the keto diet.

One shot of scotch only contains 14 g of alcohol, 97 calories, and zero carbs. It is perfect for those following the keto diet but should be consumed in moderation.

The three primary perspectives we'll look into are "Can you drink scotch on keto?" "Is scotch gluten free?" And finally, "What is in a glass of scotch?" You may find one or more of these answers interesting enough to help you make an informed decision about your health.

Can You Drink Scotch on Keto?

Yes, just like low sugar wines, scotch is safe to drink even though you are on a keto diet. Scotch is made using yeast, water, and malted barley, with no added sugar in the process. Thus, it has zero carbs and appears in a concentrated form.

However, bear in mind that you’re prone to get drunk while you’re on a keto diet because it removes your alcohol tolerance. And being in this state lowers your inhibition of eating carbohydrate foods.

The ketosis process is also halted until the body has consumed all the alcohol. So drinking too much scotch may disrupt your ketogenic diet.

Is Scotch Gluten Free?

Yes, scotch is gluten-free and safe for people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Even though scotch is made using rye, wheat, or barley, it becomes gluten-free due to its distillation process.

Possible Sources of Gluten Contamination

When distilled, all alcoholic beverages are gluten-free. However, some scotch whiskies may have been aged on oat or wheat, containing gluten if it is not labeled as such.

It can also get contaminated with gluten by mixing additives and flavorings after the distillation process. Gluten cross-contact is also a possibility in facilities that produce wheat, barley, or rye-based goods.

Scotch Nutrition Facts

Here are the nutrition facts of 1.5 ounces or a typical shot of scotch (80 proof), according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Note that the number of calories from whiskey may vary due to differences in people's response to alcohol.

Alcohol

14 g

Calories

97 cal

Carbohydrates

0 g

Fat

0 g

Fiber

0 g

Protein

0 g

Sodium

0.42 mg

Sugars

0 g

Alcohol

The amount of alcohol is an integral part of scotch nutrition facts. Whiskey has 15 g of alcohol per shot, and one gram is equivalent to 7 calories. As a result, if scotch is taken neat or with ice, 100% of the calories originate from the alcohol.

Carbohydrates

Since scotch has 0 g of carbohydrates, it has a glycemic index of zero. The glycemic index is a measuring system for foods that calculates how carbohydrates affect blood sugar levels.

Minerals

Scotch has traces of minerals, but consuming it will not provide any substantial micronutrients in your body. It’s better to take food supplements to gain the minerals that your body needs. 

What Happens If You Drink Scotch?

Drinking whiskey at night

There are certain health benefits that people associate with drinking scotch whisky. Here are some of them:

  • Helps with the Common Cold

Scotch is a crucial component in a hot toddy, a popular drink for those suffering from congestion and various cold symptoms. It is blended with honey, cinnamon, lemon, and hot water to prepare a warm beverage.

Whiskey's alcohol content may cause blood vessels to dilate, making it easier for mucous membranes to fight infection. Warm beverages also enhance nasal airflow that helps alleviate symptoms of flu and colds.

However, there isn't enough scientific data to back up the usage of a hot toddy to ease cold symptoms.

  • Relieves Toothache

Having a toothache is painful and stressful, but whiskey can help you with that. Soaking cotton with scotch and placing it over the tooth will help relieve the pain.

But keep in mind that it only reduces pain and does not solve the problem itself, so a visit to the dentist is still necessary.

  • Lowers Uric Acid Levels

Moderate whiskey drinking boosts renal urate excretion into urine and lowers serum urate levels, according to a study published in Phytotherapy Research in 2014. High urate acid is linked to gout, a severe form of arthritis that causes a person's joints to swell and become sore. 

Researchers are baffled as to why whiskey-drinking could affect urate levels. Furthermore, no human studies have shown that whiskey can lessen the risk of gout.

  • Decreases Risk of Diabetes

A few studies stated that moderate drinking could lower the risk of having Type 2 diabetes. However, scientists also mentioned that the connection between glucose control and alcohol is complicated in people with diabetes.

Plus, scientists said that the person’s overall nutritional status is essential for the impact of alcohol on the control of insulin and glucose metabolism.

Studies on the advantages and dangers of alcohol intake in people with Type 2 diabetes have been inconclusive.

  • Reduces Stress 

    Person Holding Clear Drinking Glass

Many people consume alcohol to decrease their stress levels because it is a known sedative.

A study from 1985 has shown that moderate consumption of alcohol can reduce stress. A 2016 study supported this claim indicating that drinking alcohol moderately can help you recover faster from stressful situations.

On the other hand, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) said that the link between alcohol and stress is complicated. Alcohol affects your ability to make informed decisions. It also disrupts your sleep, so it would be better not to use it as a stress reliever.

  • Reduces Risk of Dementia

In a 2011 study done by Dr. David J. Hanson from the State University of New York (SUNY), 1 to 2 drinks of whiskey per day may decrease the risk of having dementia by 50%.

However, he also mentioned that all alcoholic drinks might have this effect since the benefits originate from the alcohol itself.

  • Helps Combat Inflammation

Surpassing wine, 12-year-old whiskies were found to contain more antioxidants that can get rid of inflammation. A study conducted by Monash University even showed that whiskey had more antioxidant activity as compared to ascorbic acid from a glass of orange juice. 

However, you have to consider the type of whiskey. According to the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, participants who drank newly-distilled whiskies had less antioxidant activity than aged scotch.

It was probably because of the copper amount in non-matured whiskey. That’s why it would be better to drink aged whiskey as opposed to newly-distilled ones moderately. 

  • Improves Heart Health

The benefits of scotch whisky have been claimed since the 1500s, particularly for improving heart health. And there is some recent research that backs up this theory.

According to studies, light to moderate alcohol consumption (1 drink per day for females and 1-2 drinks per day for males) has been linked to a decreased risk of stroke, congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, and mortality rate.

The dose and the type of whiskey make a difference. As mentioned earlier, aged whiskies have more antioxidants and phenols that help prevent heart disease. However, newly-distilled whiskies don’t have the same benefits.

Research also suggests that heavy alcohol consumption can increase the risk of adverse cardiovascular diseases, so always drink in moderation.

  • Helps Fight Cancer

Alcohol may cause certain cancers, but drinking scotch may help prevent some other types.

According to Dr. Jim Swan, single malt whiskies have high amounts of ellagic acid. It is a polyphenol or micronutrient with powerful antioxidant properties that combat the free radicals that cause cancer.

Even though whiskey contains ellagic acid, it is not a valid reason to drink it in the hopes of decreasing the risk of having cancer. It would be better to consume fruits and vegetables that contain this particular compound.

Is Scotch Good for Weight Loss?

Overweight man measuring his waist

Scotch has 0 g of fats and carbohydrates because of the distillation process. Therefore, light drinking will not make you put on weight. However, its high-calorie content means that drinking too many glasses can lead to weight gain.

There are also various antioxidants and phytonutrients in whiskey that quicken your metabolism.  Suppose you’re on a proper diet when you drink scotch; the different molecules will drive your body to burn off fat deposits to prevent excessive fatty build-up.

Is Drinking Scotch Whisky Bad for You?

Even though scotch has health benefits, heavy drinking may cause adverse effects. Here are some of the known negative effects of drinking scotch.

  • Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)

It is one of the most common effects of heavy drinking. AUD has three classifications: mild, moderate, and severe. Here are the signs of this disorder:

  • Drinking more than planned
  • The person can’t cut back
  • Despite relationship troubles, the person continues to drink

You have an increased chance of developing AUD if you have been binge drinking or having high alcohol consumption.

Binge drinking can be classified as having 4 drinks for females and 5 drinks for males in about 2 hours. Heavy alcohol consumption is classified as having more than 3 drinks for females and more than 4 drinks for males on any day.

  • Degrades Mental Health

Stress and isolation might compel a person to drink to eliminate negative feelings, but over-drinking increases anxiety and loneliness.

Scientists also noted that long-term heavy drinking decreases a person’s ability to cope with stress because it increases the release of stress hormones. 

A long-term heavy drinker may suffer more anxiety in nerve-racking situations than someone who never drinks or drinks moderately.

  • Obesity

Light to moderate alcohol consumption may not lead to weight gain, but heavy drinking causes you to gain weight. There are mixed results about this study, but alcohol intake is still why some people become obese.

  • Allergies

According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI), some instances of alcohol allergy have been reported. Its symptoms include:

  • Swelling
  • Rash
  • Throat Constriction

If you ever experience similar symptoms after drinking scotch, consult your health care provider for advice.

  • Decreases Immune Health

Alcohol Research Current Reviews published a study that showed the relation between heavy alcohol drinking and increased risk of having immune system-related problems like pneumonia.

According to the research, alcohol affects the immunological pathways, impairing the body's ability to fight infection, slows tissue repair, and leads to organ damage.

  • Affects Bone Health

One study has shown that light drinkers have a reduced risk of having bone fractures, while many studies state that heavy drinking causes poor bone health. 

Experts mentioned that chronic, heavy alcohol drinking in females increases the risk of osteoporosis. Although the effects are more noticeable in young individuals, heavy alcohol use in adults can also impair the bones.

  • Higher Risk for Stroke and Heart Disease

According to a published data, excessive alcohol intake is the third most significant cause of premature death in the United States.

Heavy alcohol use is one of the most likely causes of reversible hypertension and accounts for around one-third of all nonischemic dilated cardiomyopathy and atrial fibrillation. In addition, it enhances the risk of hemorrhagic and ischemic stroke.

Is Scotch Healthier than Bourbon?

Close-up photo of a 12-year old whiskey bottle review

Based on the table below, bourbon nutrition facts are similar to scotch nutrition facts:

Scotch

Bourbon

Alcohol

14 g

14 g

Calories

97 cal

97 cal

Carbohydrates

0 g

0 g

Fat

0 g

0 g

Protein

0 g

0 g

Sugars

0 g

0 g

However, both liquors are made using different grains. Scotch is produced from malted grains, while bourbon is from grain mash containing at least 51% corn. 

Because of that, scotch and bourbon have slight differences in taste. Scotch tends to be smoky, while bourbon is sweeter—these are the main differences between the two.

Is Scotch Whisky Healthier than Beer?

Glasses of Beer and Wheat Ears on a Table

The scotch nutrition facts are quite different from that of beer. Comparisons between the two are highlighted in the table below:

Light Beer (12 oz)

Regular Beer (12 oz)

Scotch (1.5 oz)

Alcohol

11.0 g

13.9 g

14 g

Calories

103 cal

153 cal

97 cal

Carbohydrates

5.8 g

12.6 g

0 g

Fat

0 g

0 g

0 g

Protein

0.9 g

1.6 g

0 g

Sodium

14 mg

14 mg

0.42 mg

Scotch can contain up to 44% ABV (alcohol by volume), which means that if you drink just one shot of whiskey, you could be consuming as much alcohol as four cans of beer!

Beer also contains other minerals, including:

Light Beer

Regular Beer

Calcium

14 mg

14 mg

Folate

21 mcg

21 mcg

Magnesium

18 mg

21 mg

Niacin

1 mg

2 mg

Phosphorus

42 mg

50 mg

Potassium

74 mg

96 mg

Even though beer has many other minerals, scotch can be considered healthier because it has fewer calories and zero carbohydrates. Beer causes you to gain weight which is not suitable for a keto diet.

Here is a video stating the reasons why whiskey is healthier than other drinks:

Is Scotch Good for Your Stomach? 

No, drinking scotch could worsen acid reflux. It was discovered in a 1987 study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association. The University of Dundee made 17 participants consume whiskey three hours after dinner.

About 7 of them experienced having acid reflux for over 47 minutes while they were lying in bed. However, when the whiskey was taken out of the equation, none of the participants experienced the problem.

Note that all types of liquor may cause indigestion. Alcohol temporarily relaxes the muscles between the esophagus and the stomach, allowing stomach acid to rise into the esophagus.

What is the Best Time to Drink Scotch Whisky?

People might have different preferences, but most experts say that the best time to drink scotch is late morning before lunch. You need to have eaten something before scotch tasting because you won’t be able to concentrate on a growling tummy.

However, you shouldn’t be full either because the whiskey’s aroma becomes less attractive. You need to relax your mind and taste buds before drinking. A whiskey taste chart will help you better explain the scents and taste of the scotch you’re drinking. 

Conclusion

Many misconceptions surround scotch. Some people think it can't be consumed by those with celiac disease, gluten intolerance, or under a keto diet. But the truth is you just need to know what brands and types of whiskey will work for your dietary needs before drinking any kind of distilled spirit! 

Scotch also has more health benefits than other drinks like beer, but don't start drinking it without consulting your healthcare practitioner about what's best for your body.

Which kind(s) of alcohol would you like us to write about? Let us know in the comments.


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