Paleo Diet & Alcohol

Can You Still Enjoy Alcohol On The Paleo Diet?

There are people who completely remove alcohol in any form from their system on the day they decide to go Paleo. However, there are some people who still drink alcohol or cannot remove alcohol due to their jobs or social activities. But is it really possible to enjoy Paleo diet alcohol drinks?

There are forms of diet where alcohol consumption (mostly red wines) are allowed. However, on the Paleolithic diet alcohol in any form is not recommended. But you may not be able to resist the temptation of alcohol, especially if it has been a part of your lifestyle. There are people practicing the Paleo diet who cannot stop other people from serving alcohol during an occasion. Alcohol is definitely not all bad, there are some which your body can benefit from. But how does alcohol fit in with the Paleo diet?

Paleo Diet - Alcohol

Before we explore the possibilities of including alcohol in your Paleo diet plan. Let us first get some more background information about alcoholic beverages. Alcohol or alcoholic beverages are depressants in the form of a drink that contain a large amount of the psychoactive drug ethanol, or to put into layman’s terms, alcohol. These beverages are usually made through the fermentation of different ingredients such as barley, grapes, and even rice. There is some evidence found that suggests that alcohol or fermented drinks were already present during the late Stone Age and Paleolithic era.

Given that there are fermented drinks in the late Stone Age, wouldn’t it fit in with the Paleo lifestyle? The answer is it can but they are still not recommended. To make it easier for you to understand and if Paleo diet alcohol is a great addition to your Caveman diet, there are certain things you must consider. We are talking about the good and bad effects of alcohol on us.  As well as taking a look at the alcoholic beverages that you need to remove or can add on to your Paleo diet alcohol drinks list.

Why Alcoholic Beverages are Not Healthy

Consuming large amounts of alcoholic beverages isn’t healthy. Even with drinks, moderation is the key, but drinking less is even better. There are dangers of long term and heavy drinking, no matter how “organic” an alcoholic drink is. Any alcoholic drink is considered a recreational drug which with long term use can be addictive and deteriorate the body’s different organs in the process. Here are a few things that might stop you from drinking any alcohol:

Heart Issues

The most common heart issue to be aware of throughout long-term alcohol abuse is high blood pressure. From there, everything can spiral down if alcohol intake is not controlled. If you are already into alcohol and a heavy drinker, you need to be aware that the possibility of suffering a stroke, arrhythmias, and cardiomyopathy is much greater. These medical terms are a fancy way of saying alcohol will mess up the way your heart functions.

Liver Failure

Our liver cannot totally remove the toxins that alcoholic beverages contain. Whilst your liver is working double time in trying to remove all the toxins that alcohol produces, it will have a hard time in helping your body burn fat and may even cause fat to accumulate. Fibrosis, cirrhosis, fatty liver and hepatitis can be the result of alcohol abuse.

Heart Issues

Compromised Immune System

There are studies that prove how vulnerable the body becomes when it is intoxicated with alcohol. Because the body tries to eliminate these toxins, the immune system isn’t able to work as hard.  This means that our body cannot fight off infections as easily. Studies carried out have linked drinking alcohol with people being at great risk contracting diseases like tuberculosis or auto-immune disease.  This is often as a result of a compromised immune system.

Causes Harm To Your Pancreas

Just like the liver, the pancreas also helps the body to deal with toxins. But when we drink large quantities of alcohol this then causes the pancreas to release toxins into the body. These toxins cause inflammation and swelling of the blood vessels in the pancreas which can lead to pancreatitis.

Risk Of Developing Cancer

Because of the multi-organ failure that you can get when abusing alcohol, you will definitely have an inkling that cancer will come knocking at your door. With the whole body compromised from intoxication, cancer cells can develop and spread throughout the body with ease. The most common body parts that are in danger from cancer because of alcohol abuse are the breasts, throat, liver, mouth and esophagus.

The Other Side Of Alcohol

Now that you know the downside of alcohol abuse, let’s talk about why there are diets, including the Paleo diet, which still allows for alcohol on their food list. Again, moderation is the key, even when it comes to alcoholic drinks. Here are a few health benefits that alcohol may also provide to our bodies:

Heart Health

This may seem odd, but studies suggest that drinking a moderate amount of alcohol can reduce risks of heart disease. Another factor considered is the type of alcoholic drink. Studies have proven that red wine is a healthy alcoholic drink when drank with meals. As long as you restrict yourself to just drinking 1 or 2 glasses. Red wine allows blood to flow better, reducing the risk of narrowed or blocked arteries.

Decreased Risk Of Dementia And Alzheimer’s

Ethanol or the alcohol content of alcoholic drinks can be toxic for the body if taken in jugs daily. But when ethanol is consumed in a moderate fashion, it can help keep your brain sharp even when you are already old. Ethanol can actually reduce the wear and tear on the brain’s neurons, resulting in a sharper mind and better memory.

Lowers Chances Of Diabetes

Alcohol can help the body’s metabolism work faster, burning unwanted fats which can cause obesity which is often linked to diabetes. Alcohol also helps the body produce more hormones that can control how the body processes and uses glucose, reducing blood sugar levels in the process. But having said that drinking alcohol shouldn’t be part of a diet plan for weight loss.

Lowers Risk Of Diabetes

Reduced Risk Of Gallstones

The gallbladder is also at risk when cholesterol levels are high. The cholesterol deposits in the gallbladder can develop into stones and may cause pain. As the alcoholic beverages reduce cholesterol in the bloodstream, it also affects the gallbladder and reduces the risk of developing these stones.

Increased Libido

This benefit can be enjoyed by both men and women. Increased libido also means having less risk of depression and more energy. Alcoholic drinks can increase the blood flow in the body, giving it a boost for the activities throughout the day (or night).

Say Goodbye To Colds

With the proper consumption, alcohol can keep the common cold at bay. This benefit is another contradiction to dangers of alcohol because prevention of common cold is only possible when a person has a healthy immune system. The fact is, there are alcoholic drinks that are rich in antioxidants, which boost the immune system. Again, the difference here is the amount of alcohol consumed on a regular basis.

Cold & Flu

What Alcohol Is Paleo And What Is Not?

Now that we have established the pros and cons of drinking alcohol and why drinking small amounts is the key. Its’s time to know which alcoholic drinks are Paleo and which are not. These Paleo diet alcohol drinks are mostly considered to be the healthier choices. We’ve also included the alcoholic beverages that you should never consider ordering at a bar.

Paleo Diet Alcohol Drinks

You will notice that most Paleo diet alcohol drinks are not the kinds that are made using cereal grains. Most come from fruits or plant parts and are either distilled or fermented.

Red Wine

The first one to appear on the Paleo diet food list is red wine, which is made from hand-picked, fermented grapes. The intensity of flavor and alcohol content depends on the age and type of grape used.

Paleo Diet Alcohol - Wine

Sparkling Wine

Also made from grapes and has significant levels of carbon dioxide by natural fermentation. It is called sparkling because of the effect of the fizz from carbon monoxide (like soda, only healthier). Champagne is one of the most common sparkling wines you can enjoy.

White Wine

Another wine produced using grapes, only this time without the fizz of sparkling wine.

Tequila

A distilled beverage produced from the blue agave plant, tequila has a strong alcoholic taste.

Alcohol On the Paleo Diet - Tequila

Rum

A distilled byproduct of sugarcane, rum is considered perfectly acceptable. It is usually aged in oak barrels and as the rum matures so the alcohol in it gets stronger.

Potato Vodka

Most vodkas are made from grains such as rye and wheat. Potato vodka is the best alternative when it comes to this alcoholic beverage.

Non-Paleo Diet Alcohol Drinks

When it is grain-based, it is definitely not Paleo. These are the alcoholic drinks that are not considered Paleo.

Beer

Most, if not all beers are grain based. But if you were to do some research you will now find that some companies now make gluten-free beer. This is probably the most common type of alcohol that most people tend to drink.

Bourbon

Is also known as American whisky and made from corn. Corn is developed using agricultural methods and is not considered Paleo.

Non Paleo Alcohol - Whiskey

Whiskey

An alcoholic drink made from fermented grain mash including corn, rye, and wheat.

Grain-Based Gin

As the name implies, this type of alcoholic drink is made from cereal grains. It may also include other ingredients such as berries.

Grain-Based Vodka

Vodkas are also made from grains (except for the above-mentioned potato vodka) and are therefore not a Paleo diet food.

vodka-461890_640

If you are a former alcohol drinker, you don’t have to punish yourself by abstaining from drinking alcohol, even on the Paleo diet. If it is your first time drinking (good on you!). Enjoying the odd Paleo diet alcohol drink may actually be a great start. However, always keep in mind to drink in moderation and with a good meal. Now you can definitely enjoy every sip and know that you don’t have to feel guilty afterwards. Cheers to that!

Leave a Comment: