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Alcohol Consumption and the Paleo Diet

If you’ve toyed around on this site at all, or if you’re just familiar with the paleo diet to begin with, you know that alcoholic beverages are not allowed on the paleo diet. Since the main premise of the paleo diet is to follow a diet similar to what our ancestors did, this makes sense; cro magnon man was not throwing keggers with his neighbors and getting wasted off Franzia on Friday night.

For many of you this is a challenge– you may enjoy a cocktail once in a while. Heck, I enjoy an ice cold beer here and there, but aside from the obvious health risks that it causes it’s not exactly a “natural” item. I’ll be honest: every once in a while I cheat and have a beer (admit it, you do too). While I’m a big proponent of the paleo diet, I’m also a big proponent of moderation in my life, thus I figure that two beers every Saturday isn’t going to kill me.

But for those of you who are trying to be a bit more strict on yourselves when following paleo diet recipes, here are some guidelines for you when it comes to various alcohol-related beverages. In fact, there are some that you can consume and still stay paleo. So here we go:

Beer

Beer is not paleo approved. This should be obvious, but I put it here to cover a different type of beer: non-alcoholic beer. Our ancestors may not have nailed the process of distilling, but they’d be happy to hear of the health benefits that beer (non-alcoholic included) contains. Beer has actually been found to increase good cholesterol in our bodies, thereby helping to decrease the risk of some heart conditions (see WebMD for proof). Nonetheless, the alcohol and gluten in the beer is contrary to what our ancestors would have eaten and thus are not paleo approved. Still, if you enjoy beer, having a non-alcoholic beer every once in a while won’t kill you.

Wine

Wine as we know it is not paleo approved. However, the grape content of wine is very beneficial to your health and also paleo approved. If you can find yourself a decent non-alcoholic wine, drink up.

Gluten Free Beer

This is still made from a lot of the same ingredients as regular beer. Therefore, it’s not exactly paleo friendly. However, it contains less of the wheat/carb content that regular beer does, so it’s a better option than regular beer. In other words, it’s the lesser of two paleo evils.