The basic premise of leading a paleo lifestyle is to remove all processed foods and eliminate toxins from your body. This being said, alcohol is technically not paleo; it is both heavily processed and a toxin. A great deal of people who have made the switch to a paleo lifestyle, do so more in a new aged way. The first thing that they alter in the original paleo diet is the allowance of alcohol consumption. But under what premise do they convince themselves that alcohol should be considered paleo or at least a part of their paleo lifestyle despite the toxins in it?
Typically speaking, the hardest part of eliminating alcohol from your life completely, is your social life. Going out to have a drink with friends or having a bottle of wine when you are gathering with family for the holidays, is about so much more than consuming alcohol. It has become a part of our natural bonding process. Many people find that when they switch to a paleo lifestyle, it can have an adverse effect on their social life. Going out to eat or to dinners with friends becomes a challenge. Choosing to leave the alcohol in their diet gives them their means of socialization and relaxation with the ones they cherish most.
While choosing to continue to consume alcohol, even after making the switch to a paleo lifestyle, may seem like you are throwing caution to the wind and ignoring the toxins going into your body; people still tend to search for the lesser of the evils. Beer is easily at the very bottom of the list of items that could ever be considered paleo. It is made from barley, hops, and wheat; a big paleo don’t. While, wine makes a more compelling argument for its paleo qualities. After all, it is made from fruit. Wine is considered to be the closest thing to paleo alcohol but similar to beer, it is fermented with sugar and starch, typically found in fruits. Spirits like vodka and whiskey, are also put through a fermentation process involving grains and are then distilled. The biggest issue with spirits is the amount of gluten found in them. While the distilling process removes a great deal of the gluten, this would still be a major issue for someone who switched to a paleo lifestyle for the purpose of being gluten free.
Possibly the most popular alcohol option for paleo lifestyle is hard cider. It is fermented and typically made from pears and apples; it is also available gluten free. Hard cider is the one alcohol that is considered to be paleo, though some hard ciders are not. You should always read the label and check for added sugar of the brand on hard cider before purchasing it. Hard cider is also available in organic options and sugar free option. While hard cider is made from paleo friendly ingredients, it is still a toxin. Alcohol is not only bad for your liver, it is addictive, can cause your body to prioritize detoxification over nutrients, can affect your blood sugar, and it is dehydrating.
The bottom line is that; alcohol is not paleo in any form. Though, some forms are far better for you than others, it is still toxic to your body. Choosing to consume alcohol even though it doesn’t meet paleo guidelines is completely a personal choice. But if you are focused on healing your body from the inside out and only putting what’s good for you into it, it’s a toxin and toxic for your body and health just like processed snack foods that you have probably been dreaming about for some time. The question is, Is it worth it to you for the sake of socialization?