The blog ‘The Carb Syndrome Project” has an excellent post from Dr Bill Wilson all about alcohol consumption and health, especially for those trying to restrict carb intake. It covers the basics of what alcohol actually is, looks at when drinking it can become a problem, and asks if it makes you fat. The post is recommended reading for all (link below) and here are Dr Wilson’s concluding eight tips for alcohol consumption…
Dr. Wilson’s Rules for Alcohol Consumption
- If you have CARB syndrome, don’t consume any alcohol until your disease is under control. There is a lot of information on this site about how to manage this common disease.
- Probably the best form of alcohol to consume is dry, red wine. Red wine has very little sugar and it is also loaded with healthy anti-oxidants. In his latest book “Antifragile”, Nassim Nicholas Taleb states that the only beverages he drinks are water, coffee and red wine. I share his perspective.
- Don’t mix your distilled spirits with fructose containing juices or soda. The exception would be a little lemon juice tinged water.
- Limit you daily intake of alcohol to one drink for females and two drinks for males. Binge drinking is definitely not a good way to go. If you can’t control your alcohol intake, you probably shouldn’t drink any alcohol.
- Don’t drink any alcohol if you eat a diet loaded with sugar, HFCS and grain-based high glycemic carbohydrates, especially if you care about your liver. Clean up your diet before consuming any alcohol.
- Beer should be limited because as my fructose researcher friend Richard Johnson has shown, beer raises uric acid levels and uric acid drives up blood pressure and triggers central fat storage. That’s where the term “beer belly” comes from. For more information I recommend reading his excellent books “The Sugar Fix” and “The Fat Switch”.
- My Paleo friend Robb Wolf recommends what he calls a “Norcal Margarita”. It consists of two shots of tequila, a little soda water and the juice of a whole lime. I agree that this is relatively healthy and safe way to consume alcohol. For more tips on healthy eating and drinking, I recommend reading his book “The Paleo Solution” or Loren Cordain’s book “The Paleo Answer”.
- If you know that you may be drinking a little more alcohol than usual on a special occasion, I recommend taking N-acetyl cysteine 600 mg daily and thiamine 50 mg daily on the days you are consuming alcohol. These supplements will help to protect your liver and your brain.
Alcohol can be your friend or your worst enemy depending on how you integrate it into your life. Hopefully this article gives you a perspective on how to do so in a healthy way. Bottoms up!