Alcohol

This post has been a long time coming.  I’ve talked about legumes.  I’ve talked about grain.  I’ve talked about dairy.  “But is alcohol Paleo?”

The short answer, no. 

The way I see it, Paleo is all about eating clean. I consider it a long-term cleanse of sorts.  It’s bringing your body back to it’s normal state.  Getting rid of toxins, processed garbage, sugars. Regulating insulin.  Maintaining normal hormone levels.  Alcohol is one of those things that does nothing to cleanse the body or bring it backs to its normal state.

There are 3 types of alcohol. Wine, beer, and spirits.  Wine and beer and products of sugar or starch fermentation.  Wine from grapes, and beer from grains.  Essentially, beer is like liquid grain (think: gluten). Spirits come from grain fermentation, but are later distilled, which removes the grain protein, thus making them grain-free. However, sometimes the gluten can be added back in by way of additives or other alcohols.  

Alcohol does a good job at reducing your inhibitions, as well as coordination and fine motor skills.  Even just a “little” bit of alcohol can make you think “hey, those chili cheesy deep fried corn dog fritters would be perfect if they were in my belly right now.” Bad idea.  Bar food, also bad idea.  If you’re serious about eating clean and sticking to it, don’t set yourself up for failure by drinking alcohol then making poor food choices.  It’s lose lose.

Alcohol has a HUGE effect on hormones.  It messes with your body’s ability to regulate glucose…big time.  This affects your insulin levels as well as your glucagon levels.  When something interferes with these hormones, one may see a major systemic inflammatory response, which plays a big part in a whole plethora of conditions and diseases.  

While we are still on the subject of sugars, alcohol is LOADED with sugar…and a major lack of nutrition.  Empty calories.  Lots of them.  Mixed drinks can be a bad bad combo.  Man oh man.  Consider cleaning it up a bit by scrapping those sugary soda pops and mixers for something a little better.  Try club soda, real lime for Rose’s lime juice, and drinks with fruit juice instead of those pre-packaged mixers.

As I mentioned in paragraph one, alcohol is not recommended.  Ok, that being said, treats are ok.  I guess I just encourage people to be mindful of what they’re (eating and) drinking.  Pre-Paleo, I enjoyed beer every now and then.  Good beer.  Hearty beer.  The stuff that is full of flavor, full of calories, and is fairly similar to eating a loaf of bread.  Since choosing the Paleo way of eating, I have cut out beer.  Completely.  I do like a drink every now and again, however.  I chose to switch to a vodka, club soda, lime wedge cocktail.  I felt that this was a better choice than the alcohol choices that I made before eating clean.  Some Paleo people recommend choosing gluten-free beer.  Some say wine.  Others say 100% agave tequila or hard cider.  Really, alcohol is alcohol.  Sure, some choices are significantly better than others, but there is really no “Paleo alcohol.”  I consider a cocktail or two a treat.  Just make good choices.  Moderation.  The less that you drink, the healthier you will be.

Cheers

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