Are White Claws Keto-Friendly? We Asked An RD

mbg Editorial Assistant By Christina Coughlin
mbg Editorial Assistant
Christina Coughlin is an editorial assistant at mindbodygreen. She graduated from Georgetown University in 2019 with a degree in psychology and music.
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If last summer's national shortage wasn't enough to show how much people love this drink, we don't know what is. The world's favorite new drink, White Claw, seems to have taken the world by storm in the past year. It's one of the more popular brands of hard seltzer, aka bubbly alcoholic drinks that taste sweet but are low-carb.

With many people beginning to adopt the ketogenic diet, another big trend of the year, we began to wonder if the two could work together. We know White Claw contains about 2 grams of carbs per can, but we wanted to talk to a nutritionist to get the lowdown on how the beverage could affect someone in ketosis.

When we asked Molly Knudsen, M.S., RDN, if White Claw is keto-friendly, she said yes: "Typically, most people following a keto diet keep their carb intake at 50 grams or less a day. So sparing 2 of those grams for a White Claw every now and then is totally feasible."

Drinking on the keto diet.

Knudsen's general rule of thumb for determining keto-friendliness of an alcoholic beverage is to look for drinks with 5 or fewer carbs per serving. The less the better, she says! "Even a drink with 5 grams of carbs accounts for 10% of the MAX amount of carbs you may have allotted for the day."

Because carbs are so limited on the keto diet, Knudsen recommends utilizing those carbs to get important vitamins and minerals. Her suggestion is through vegetables like broccoli, kale, zucchini, mushrooms, and red bell pepper.

Knudsen warns anyone on the keto diet to steer clear of sugary drinks like margaritas, sangria, and daiquiris. "Any drink with fruit juice, sweetened sodas, or simple syrups are going to be loaded with carbs and could knock you out of ketosis in a snap. I would also think twice before selecting beer as your keto drink of choice," she says. "Opting for a light beer will still typically cost you 6 grams of carbs, and a regular beer will cost you around 13 grams."

Her recommendation for drinking on the keto diet? Besides White Claw, she says to stick to any low-carb beverages. "If you do decide to drink, I recommend keeping to options such as red or white wine (which is around 4 grams of carbs per 5-ounce serving), or liquor like vodka, rum, or gin (which all have 0 grams of carbs) with seltzer water."

But even though alcoholic beverages can be a part of a keto diet, however, Knudsen doesn't want to encourage it as a regular or integral part of the diet. "I would prefer a person's carbohydrate allowance go toward optimizing nutrition," she says. 

The current Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that people who consume alcohol should always do it in moderation, which is defined as no more than one drink per day for women or two drinks per day for men.

To learn more about going keto, check out our beginner's guide to the ketogenic diet for tips, tricks, and general rules to follow. Plus, now you have the confirmation—claws are safe.

Ready to learn how to fight inflammation and address autoimmune disease through the power of food? Join our 5-Day Inflammation Video Summit with mindbodygreen’s top doctors.

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