(PRWEB) December 29, 2004
Bob Skilnik, author of the recently-released The Low Carb Bartender: Carb Counts of Beer, Wine, Mixed Drinks and More (ISBN 1593372531, Adams Media, $9.95), argues that the information about alcoholic beverages found in many popular low-carb diet books and websites is usually misleading or incorrect. His book dispels many of the myths associated with low-carb diets and alcohol and also contains the carbohydrate counts of over 1000 beers, 400 wines, 60 liqueurs, and more than 200 low-carb mixed drink recipes.
ÂOne popular low-carb website is particularly confusing,Â says Skilnik. ÂAlthough I'm happy to see that this organization now concedes that low-carb dieters can enjoy moderate amounts of regular-brewed beer, adding the warning that 'you have to read the label since carbohydrate content varies from brand to brand' is pure nonsense. Regular beers do not contain nutritional analysis statements on them - as any real beer drinker can tell you.Â
The site also gives different serving sizes for wine, going from 3.5-ounces on one web page, to a 4-ounce serving on another.
ÂThe Alcohol, Tobacco, Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) has determined that the standard serving size for wine is 5-ounces, so both examples are wrongÂ notes the author. ÂIf a restaurant poured me a 3.5-ounce serving of wine, you can bet I'd be asking to see the sommelier!Â
There also seems to be some confusion with the effects of yeast on lowÂcarbohydrate diets and what takes place during the processes of fermentation and distillation.
ÂAdvising someone to enjoy vodka or red wine, but stay away from beer, Scotch or other 'grain-based spirits' because of residual yeasts in these products is simply wrong and limits a dieter's drink choices,Â opines The Low-Carb Bartender.
ÂVodka, Scotch, gin, whiskey, and bourbon are all grain-based. Distillation guarantees that none of these liquors will have yeasts in them. The liquor is separated from yeasts and other by-products of fermentation during the distillation process.
As for wine, sulfites are added to ensure that a secondary fermentation won't take place in the bottle, possibly instigated by wild yeasts or even bacteria that might still be found in the finished wine. The yeasts might be dead, but on a microscopic level, they're still present."
Beer gets the worst knock concerning yeasts, argues Skilnik. ÂThe vast majority of all commercial beers go through a series of microfiltering processes that strip the beer of yeasts and any beer-spoiling pathogens. Rather than add sulfites to kill any residual yeasts Â as in wine - the yeasts are completely removed.Â
Although the Anheuser-Busch Brewing Company recently challenged the notion that the simple sugar maltose can be found in beer, and has proven the inaccuracy of the claim that low-carb dieters should avoid all forms of beer, including low-carb and light beers, this 'urban myth' of low-carb dieting continues to permeate thousands of web pages and a number of popular diet books.
ÂSimple sugars like maltose are quickly consumed by yeasts during fermentation with the result being the creation of alcohol and carbon dioxide," says Skilnik. Ironically, any first-year chemistry or biology student - and even your typical home brewer - knows this elementary principle of fermentation, but you can still pick up any number of low-carb diet books on the market today and find this inaccurate claim in them.Â
Bob Skilnik is a certified brewer and freelance writer. He is a contributor to the Good Eating Section of the Chicago Tribune and is a columnist for the LowCarb Energy magazine. He has appeared on ABC's 'The View' with Barbara Walters, ESPN2's 'Cold Pizza,' and Fox News Channel's 'Fox News Live,' preaching the moderate consumption of adult beverages while counting carbs. Mr. Skilnik lives in Plainfield, IL.
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