Can You Drink Alcohol on a Paleo Diet?

Can you drink alcohol while paleo

You might think that eating paleo also means zero alcohol – but that’s not technically true. Sure, the whole point of the paleo is to remove processed foods and toxins from your diet – and alcohol definitely fits in both categories. However, alcohol is not completely entirely forbidden, there are just best, better, and bad options.

Here at PICK +PALEO we believe that paleo doesn’t mean you have to miss out on all the fun. With Christmas parties in full swing, today we wanted to give you a run down of paleo-friendly alcoholic options you can indulge in over the coming weeks. 

Can you drink alcohol while paleo


Beer is mostly made from barley, hops and wheat – so it’s not paleo friendly. Bad option (unless it’s a gluten free beer). 

Red Wine

Red wine is often considered a healthier alcoholic option by the paleo rule makers, due to it’s super-antioxidants like resveratrol (which, when consumed in moderation can lower bad cholesterol, prevent blood clots, prevent damage to blood vessels, combat ageing and a tonne of other benefits). Drink in moderation. Better option. Choose drier (less sweet) options like Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. 

White Wine

White wines are lighter in colour due to having had the skin and tannins from the grapes removed. This process removes the antioxidants and, therefore White Wine doesn’t have the same benefits that Red Wine does. If you do opt for white, go for drier options like Sauvignon Blanc. Sparkling wine falls into this category too – the sweeter varieties contain more sugar and can cause an insulin spike, so opt for drier options like brut. Better option. 


Spirits go through two processes – the first being the fermentation of grains, and the second being distillation. The distillation removes most of the gluten found in the grains, but not ALL, so beware if gluten is an issue for you.

Also consider what your mixer is, and if it’s full of sugar and additives. Steer clear of fruit juices and tonic water (high in sugar) and opt for soda water, ice, and a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice (beware of lime/lemon syrup). 

The other point to make around spirits is that they have a higher alcohol content. Drinking excessive amounts of spirits can lower our inhibitions and in turn, allow us to make bad food choices (falling face first into a non-paleo-midnight-takeaway has been known to happen). You’ve been warned!

Cocktails fall into this category too, so take note of the best spirits and mixers and look for cocktails made with those ingredients.

Drink in moderation. Best option: 100% tequila, potato or grape vodka, rum, gin (check the brand and make sure it’s not processed with grain based alcohol – look for juniper berries). Bad options: bourbon, whiskey


A hard cider is fermented, most are naturally gluten free (double check the label though) and made from apples or pears. Preservatives like potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate can be present, and both of these have been proven to negatively impact on your immunity. Be on the lookout for added sugars, and opt for a dry cider which usually has a lower sugar count. Best Option. 

Remember, remember in the month of December – that drinking alcohol needs to be done in a responsible and intentional way. You can’t maintain a high level of health if you are drinking alcohol frequently, or in large quantities. Alcohol is still a toxin and places stress on the liver, it’s an addictive drug, and it creates a strong insulin response as well as dehydrating your cells (hello hangover headache!). If your goal is to lose weight – your liver can’t help with burning fat while it’s busy detoxifying alcohol. Always consider your health and eating goals before indulging, and make a smart choice about what, where, when and how you choose to drink.
What’s your tipple of choice? Cheers from PICK + PALEO!