Contrary to popular belief, the Paleo diet does not forbid alcohol. Highly processed, additive-laden drinks such as alcopops are forbidden, and grain-based drinks are also on the “avoid” list, but there is nothing explicitly wrong with alcohol itself. Most people who embrace the Paleo lifestyle are quite health conscious and drink alcohol in moderation. Wine is a great drink to pull out on special occasions.

If you are looking for a drink that you can enjoy without feeling guilty, red, white or sparkling wines are all acceptable. Try to choose the driest wine you can ? for example, a Pinot Noir, Merlot, or Cabernet Sauvignon if you like red wine, or a Sauvignon Blanc or Albarino if you prefer your wines white.

Why Is Alcohol Allowed?

The Paleo diet is a diet that involves eating, and drinking, the same kinds of things as our caveman ancestors. Alcohol has always been around, and our caveman ancestors would have occasionally been exposed to its intoxicating effects if they ate fermented grapes. In moderation, alcohol is not harmful. However, it’s important to remember that our ancestors did not stay up all night drinking, and they certainly didn’t mix shots, beer, and other drinks!

The Health Benefits of Wines

Wines have a reputation for being healthy. This reputation comes, in part, from the fact that people from countries that drink a lot of wine, such as those in the Mediterranean regions, tend to live longer than those of us in Western cultures. While part of that increased life expectancy can be attributed to moderate alcohol consumption, a lot of it is also down to the fact that those cultures tend to eat healthier foods in general and have more active lifestyles.

With that said, there are some clear health benefits associated with drinking the occasional glass of your favourite wine. Moderate consumption of wine has been linked to a reduction in the risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer. The antioxidants in the drink are thought to help with a range of health conditions by boosting your immune system, and can even help to stave off the effects of aging. Research conducted on women over the age of 50 found that those who drank two or more glasses of their favourite tipple per day had better cognitive function than those who did not drink.

Should You Start Drinking?

The health benefits of moderate alcohol consumption are interesting, but they are all benefits that you can enjoy from other foods. If you do not drink, there is no reason to start now. However, if you enjoy drinking socially or to celebrate special occasions, you can now do so without worrying that you are ruining your diet.

Note that the health benefits are associated with moderate consumption only. Drinking large quantities of any alcoholic beverage places stress on your liver and causes dehydration. At best you will wake up with a hangover, and at worst you could do some serious damage to your body if you drink too much.