The Paleo diet is a diet that tends to attract health-conscious people. Many of those people choose not to drink alcohol at all, but this is not actually a requirement of the diet. Moderate alcohol consumption is all right for people who are following a Paleo lifestyle, and may even have some health benefits.
To Drink or Not to Drink
Consuming one or two alcoholic drinks in a social situation can be a great way to relax and unwind. However, it’s important to note that if you drink enough to become intoxicated, your liver will have to work to clear the body of toxins. If you become intoxicated regularly, then you could damage your liver. Alcoholic beverages can be addictive, so if you have any concerns about your ability to control your drinking habit, you may want to avoid all alcoholic drinks.
However, if you are confident in your ability to maintain moderation, and you are generally fit and healthy, the occasional drink won’t do you any harm. Moderate consumption of wines and spirits can help to reduce your risk of developing heart disease and ischemic strokes, as well as help to prevent diabetes and lower your risk of suffering from gall stones.
Moderate consumption is the key phrase here. Current dietary guidelines recommend that women limit themselves to a single drink per day, and men limit themselves to two drinks per day. A drink is a small bottle of beer, a glass of wine, or a single shot of distilled spirits. If you regularly exceed that level of consumption, you could be at risk of damaging your liver.
Note that the recommended consumption amounts are per day, and you cannot “store up” your recommended allowance for a few days and drink it all in one night. Binge drinking is incredibly bad for you, and if you find yourself drinking enough to feel hung over or unwell the next day you should consider cutting down on the amount that you drink to give your body some time to recover.
Some drinks are better than others from a Paleo standpoint.
Drinks to Avoid
Grain-based drinks, such as beer, bourbon, gin, whiskey and some vodkas are best avoided by Paleo diet followers. These drinks often contain gluten, which is harmful to people with celiac disease, and difficult for even healthy people to digest.
Good choices include potato-based vodkas, red, white and sparkling wines, rum and tequila.
Alcoholic drinks, even spirits, contain a lot of sugars. To help manage the insulin response that your body has, mix your chosen spirits with soda water and then add ice and a dash of lemon. Do not mix your spirits with energy drinks, fruit juices or tonic water. All three of those beverages are high in sugar, and energy drinks often have a lot of artificial ingredients in them.
If you prefer wine, choose dry wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlo, or Albarino. Dry wines contain fewer sugars and are rich in antioxidants.