Is Alcohol Paleo?
Let’s cut straight to the point: technically alcohol is not really Paleo per se. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors may have occasionally let their hair down when they were exposed to alcohol by eating fermented grapes or other fruits. They probably did not sit around their campfire drinking all night though.
Many studies have found positive health benefits from moderate alcohol consumption over not drinking at all. Although epidemiological in nature they are still an indication of the benefits of moderate consumption of certain types of alcohol. Personally evaluating the benefits of partaking in an alcoholic beverage means that alcohol may, in some way, fit in with your whole foods, wellness-based choices.
Moderate alcohol consumption:
- Is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Improves insulin sensitivity.
- May reduce the risk of infection with Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria that causes ulcers.
Regular and/or excessive consumption of alcohol may be hindering you in achieving your health and wellness goals. Under these circumstances maintaining a high level of health is challenging at best.
- Alcohol is an addictive drug.
- Alcohol is toxic to the liver.
- The liver cannot metabolize alcohol into sugar, which can cause a dip in blood sugar and a rise in blood fats.
Too much alcohol in your system makes detoxification a high priority. This causes your liver to prioritize detoxification over the uptake of nutrients.
- As some toxins are not processed, they are stored as fat.
It is challenging for the body to burn fat while detoxifying from alcohol consumption.
- Alcohol is dehydrating and can affect electrolyte balance.
I do, however, understand that you live in this modern world and want to maintain some type of social life and the interactions that go along with it to support your Paleo lifestyle. At the same time, you do not want to destroy all the hard work and sustained effort you have put into making yourself and your life better. The key to successfully imbibing alcohol while maintaining your Paleo choices is choosing the right adult beverages and consuming them in a responsible, intentional way. There is an appropriate time to enjoy a moderate amount of alcohol to unwind or to celebrate.
Before you pour yourself a glass of something intoxicating, consider your health goals and overall eating habits so that you can then make a smart choice about which type of alcohol you drink.