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Paleo and alcohol - allowed or not?

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  • Paleo and alcohol - allowed or not?

    Hellos

    I realise that alcohol isn't anti-Paleo per se but I started Paleo to improve my health and I don't really want to stop drinking altogether. I love real ale, especially stouts and porters (dark beers are very high in antioxidants, which are even more readily available than the ones in red wine). My initial worry was there was so many carbs in beer but I guess that in comparison there isn’t as many as you’d find in bread, pasta or bananas? I've also tried armagnac, cognac, and bourbon whiskey which has some positive benefits too. Phenolic constituents, furans, and total antioxida... [J Agric Food Chem. 1999] - PubMed result

    Oh and I have found that I get drunk quicker too, probably if you are in ketoisis I assume?

    Do you drink, or have you stopped or cut back considerably since going Paleo? Has Paleo has had an impact on your alcohol consumption?

  • #2
    I would guess that the anti-nutrients in the grains used to make beer would still be present in the beer...can anyone confirm this? Still, I think a beer or two occasionally can't be that bad...

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    • #3
      ‪Sugar: The Bitter Truth‬‏ - YouTube

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      • #4
        Just take it in your 20%. Real ale or red wine is going to be the least harmful for you than say, an alcopop.
        My Primal Journal

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        • #5
          I just factor in my glass of wine every night to my carb allowance. I started learning about/collecting wine before I started eating paleo, and for me, it's a breeze to incorporate.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by BobtheBuilder View Post
            I would guess that the anti-nutrients in the grains used to make beer would still be present in the beer...can anyone confirm this? Still, I think a beer or two occasionally can't be that bad...
            I work in enzymes, and fermentation is my bag, baby! Beer contains gluten, and therefore beer is NOT paleo-friendly, though there are companies that do make gluten free beers (I have no idea how those taste, though be aware that those beers are still made with other grains). The gluten comes from barley (and wheat if its a wheat beer). Many people will try to argue saying that during the fermentation process, the starches and proteins from barley are all broken down, but it's impossible to say how complete this process is without assaying (it's likely some intact gluten carries over into the final product). Most companies don't/won't divulge that information readily. Plus, it varies from batch to batch that it'd be difficult to yield consistent results. In addition, many assaying techniques only detect down to what's called a "level of detection," which can be a small number, but celiacs (and paleos) operate on a zero-tolerance gluten policy, so even though an assay may detect down to 2ppm (parts per million), even 1ppm may damage the intestinal lining. In short, beer is not paleo due to the gluten, but if you're not a celiac and you follow paleo 90/10 (paleo/not paleo), it really shouldn't hurt. Just make it a treat and not every night.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by FitChutney View Post
              I love real ale, especially stouts and porters (dark beers are very high in antioxidants, which are even more readily available than the ones in red wine). My initial worry was there was so many carbs in beer but I guess that in comparison there isn’t as many as you’d find in bread, pasta or bananas?
              As you say alcohol is problematic, but it's not the only issue here. There are sugars in beer that aren't fermented out—which is why it tastes sweet. It's interesting that the first self-consciously low-carb dieter, William Banting, back in the 19th century was actually allowed several drinks a day by his doctor but told to lay off sugar, bread, potatoes, and beer. Really the advice hasn't changed. People refer to "beer belly" for a reason!

              Interestingly, the SCD people, who work with dietary interventions with people with chronic digestive problems warn them not to drink beer because some of the sugars you get in it are not easily digestible, so that they tend instead to feed bad bacteria:

              Beer

              It strikes me that this could well explain the bloating that tends to follow a few pints.

              Anyway, I think real ale is a far better option than industrialised beer—at least there are some live enzymes and whatnot in it. However, in all honesty it's probably better replaced with dry wine or a good quality organic cider. Certainly people who are overweight would do best to avoid it.

              Tom Naughton found that, even though he was an ex-alcoholic, he could have a drink or two now and then and then just stop there after he'd switched to a low-carb diet. That desire to keep going back for another tends to drop off when you're getting most of your energy off fat instead:

              Fat Head » Primal Body, Primal Mind, Primal Tools

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              • #8
                I adore beer, but haven't been drinking much these days. I limit alcohol to one day a week, and on that day drink as much as I want (within reason - usually only a couple drinks). I've been substituting the Nor-Cal Margarita (google it) a little bit, but I'll still drink the odd beer here or there.

                That's what has worked for me. There is not a chance I'd ever give up beer altogether.

                -adam

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                • #9
                  I recently stopped drinking as an experiment to see how it affects my body, progress, strength etc. I have to say I feel sooooo much better, If your after a specific goal I would at least cut it down to like one or two drinks once or twice a week tops. And then I would make it Wine, or spirits like a norcal margarita. Pass on the beer, gluten is crap. Or at least find a decent Gluten free beer.
                  I love drinking but I love feeling healthy more.

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                  • #10
                    I stopped beer altogether for three months and could see no impact whatsoever other than having to eat more to make up the calories I was missing. This link came up on another thread here and I found it very interesting.

                    The truth about alcohol, fat loss and muscle growth | Intermittent fasting diet for fat loss, muscle gain and health

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                    • #11
                      I have to be VERY careful here. I have a wheat sensitivity strong enough to cause asthma attacks -- and I'm strangely fond of BREATHING.

                      I can have an ocassional beer as a cheat. Wine is fine. Tequila and rum work too. However, grain-based vodkas (most vodkas are no longer potato-based) can give me trouble and have to be avoided.

                      So... my experience is that some alcoholic beverages have a greater negative impact than others. Grains are evil (REALLY evil in my case) and used as the source for many drinks, so realize that you may be getting some of the chemistry of the underlying plant in the final product even when it's a distilled alcohol. Those negative aspects can still come through.

                      In other words (at least to me), some alcoholic beverages are more primal than others.
                      Life is short: Void the warranty.

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                      • #12
                        This is Mark's take on the subject:
                        Definitive Guide to Alcohol on a Low Carb Diet | Mark's Daily Apple

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                        • #13
                          Man, I hate all this rule-creation. Eat natural foods as much as possible, other stuff as little as possible. If you really want a drink one night, or you're out somewhere and you feel like a shot or two of whisky, then do it. It won't kill you, I promise. I'm sure you know what is a sensible and not-unhealthy amount to drink by yourself without fitting everything into a rulebook. I just had a delicious whisky. At no point did I wonder about Grok's opinion on it.


                          Note: if you are a recovering alcoholic, or someone with zero willpower, do not follow this advice. Instead grow some balls and sort yourself out.
                          The Primal Journey of Mr and Mrs Fist
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                          • #14
                            I used to love me a guinness, but I cut back on beer after going paleo a couple years ago. This year, I made it a new years resolution to not drink a single beer all year long. Luckily I like red wine even more than beer. I don't care much for hard liquor but occasionally I'll have some vodka or rum. I read it explained somewhere how if the hard liquor is made from grains or corn, the distillation process removes those toxins. The Perfect Health Diet has a good article on alcohol and why it shouldn't be combined with foods containing higher PUFA content: Alcohol | Perfect Health Diet. Now I make sure that on the days I'm having a drink, I'm not eating chicken, nuts, salmon, etc

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Primal Fist View Post
                              If you really want a drink one night, or you're out somewhere and you feel like a shot or two of whisky, then do it. It won't kill you, I promise.
                              Ha! For me it just might! I got into a bit of okra fried with corn meal (a few pieces couldn't hurt, right?) and an Irish coffee (was that rye whiskey or "grain-based"?) this past weekend. First asthma attack I've had since going primal.

                              Of course, I actually agree with you. We're all different, but "eat real food" gets you well into that "80% rule" territory that provides good health.
                              Last edited by gunnk; 07-21-2011, 01:41 PM. Reason: spelling
                              Life is short: Void the warranty.

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