Curious on whether you can drink alcohol or not? As a favourite pastime of many people, we will in this article be exploring into depth on is alcohol paleo friendly or not. Explaining why or why not it might be considered ok to consume on the paleo diet.
Since there is a variety of different alcohols the answer will vary from one to another so we will address each individually and explain why or why not you can consume it.
Alcohol for many has become much more of a social experience, giving you the chance to bond with family members and friends. It’s given many people a way to relax after a busy week of work or just to socialise with friends and/or family. It is also considered a great accompaniment when it comes eating food. So losing alcohol from your diet can have a bigger impact on your overall life than you might think. Luckily some types of alcohol can be consumed on the paleo diet in decent amounts.
Alcohol in general is considered a processed food, so that gives you an idea of where this guide will be going, let’s not hold off any further and jump right into it.
Is Beer Paleo?
Now beer is an alcohol that has been around for an incredibly long time, some would say that’s it’s been around long enough and should be in fact allowed in the paleo diet. It is often accepted that humans in the Palaeolithic era would have been drinking things such as honey mead, which is probably one of the first alcohol beverages.
You will find that basically all modern beers are made from primarily wheat, barley and hops. As you would likely already know these are all a big no on the the palaeolithic diet. This lands most modern beers cleanly into the “not” paleo friendly column.
If you’re able to get your hands on some old style beer that is made from ingredients such fruit and honey then you may be able to enjoy a beer that is very close to being “paleo friendly”. However, I would steer clear of any modern beer that is likely to have been made from grains.
Is Wine Paleo?
Wine is often considered by most paleo diet experts to be the closest alcohol to being paleo-friendly. This is mainly due to it not relying on ingredients such as wheat, hops and barely as most other alcohols do. Wine also has its own advantages, more so red wine in particular. Red wine in particular includes antioxidants such as resveratrol which helps in a variety of different ways.
The antioxidants can help prevent damage to blood vessels, lower bad cholesterol and help prevent blood clots. This means that when you consume red wine in moderation, it is often considered to be a justified healthy alcoholic option for the paleo community. This is despite that wine is often fermented alongside off-limits ingredients such as sugars, starches and sometimes rice. However, if you were to drink alcohol this is still one of the your better options.
Is Spirits Paleo?
Spirits like all alcohols, go through a process of fermentation. Spirits in particular is the fermentation of grains. However unlike beer, they do also have to undergo a second process.
This process is called distillation. Distillation is the action of purifying a liquid using the process of heating and cooling. This distillation actually manages to remove the vast majority of the gluten that is typically found in alcohol beverages, something that is a major concern for many who follow the paleo diet.
However, with all that said, the distillation doesn’t remove the gluten completely so you are not getting off completely free if you decide to drink spirits. Also the process of distillation, is part of the reason why spirits have a much higher alcohol content, so be careful of the amount you drink.
Is Hard Cider Paleo?
Hard cider is actually a great fruity alternative for those who enjoy an alcoholic beverage every now and then. Hard cider is a fermented alcohol beverage that is typically made from fruits such as apples or pears.
Hard cider is naturally gluten free, however it is always a good idea to double-check the labels. This is because sometimes a producer can include ingredients that are not typically a traditional cider ingredient. These extra ingredients usually help aid the brewer in making a more consistent brew.
So on the question, is hard cider paleo? The answer is usually yes, however be careful, as the amount of sugars that are often found can be quite high in some ciders. Your best bet is to go after dry cider as these will typically have a much lower sugar count than others.
So is Alcohol Paleo Friendly?
The answer to this is both yes and no, whilst there are options for you if you do enjoy drinking alcohol such as hard cider, spirits and red wine. Things such as beer should be avoided when possible since modern beers make a large use of wheat, barley and hops that are big no in the paleo diet.
Alcohol lowers your inhibitions, so although you might be able to justify drinking hard cider, spirits and red wine as paleo friendly, you have to watch out that the alcohol doesn’t make you eat things that you wouldn’t typically eat while being on the paleo diet. It’s also important to note that alcohol is loaded with carbohydrates so if you’re seeking to lose weight it might be worth just avoiding completely.
I hope this guide has helped explain is alcohol paleo friendly and any of the benefits or drawbacks to drinking alcohol both on and off the paleo diet. If you think I have missed something or just want to leave some feedback then please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below.