Many people are curious about the details of my diet. I am often asked about the how, what Y when of my eating patterns.
However, my diet is not 100% rigid. And the reality is that my life, maybe like yours, is busy and, sometimes, unpredictable. We often travel for work or to visit the family.
And when we are on the road, at some time or another, they inevitably offer me a drink.
I might Say no and completely abstain from alcohol. But for me, this feels too restrictive. So, what do I choose instead?
Keep in mind that if you personally choose not to drink alcohol, it is totally fine. But for many people, the idea of never drinking alcohol again would be unfortunate. That is why, today, I am sharing some healthier options that you can choose when you feel like drinking.
Benefit vs Risk: A health cost analysis
As popularized by the Mediterranean diet, you have probably heard that red wine may be good for you. In fact, many health studies have been published about the potential health benefits of enjoying your wine.
The benefits of drinking red wine are largely related to its high level of antioxidants; Namely, the antioxidants epicatechin, catechin and resveratrol. These antioxidants fight oxidative damage within the body and have been linked to a lower risk of heart disease and inflammation. For reasons not fully explained, moderate alcohol consumption has also been linked to lower risk of diabetes.
With 1 in 4 deaths within the United States caused by heart disease, health research like this one is hard to ignore. And although some cardiologists recommend a modest intake of red wine to attenuate cardiovascular risk, like most foods, there is something more in history …
Red wine, like all alcohol, contains ethanol. This is what makes our brains feel "drunk" and is indisputably toxic to the human body. In fact, your liver suppresses other functions to eliminate ethanol from your system preferentially. This is the reason why drinking can be especially problematic for insulin-dependent diabetics; The liver stops regulating glucose and works harder to eliminate ethanol.
Alcohol, and ethanol in all its forms, are associated with a series of health risks. But probably the most notable risk associated with regular alcohol / ethanol consumption is a higher incidence of cancer.
A great Study in the United Kingdom of 28,000 women. He showed that alcohol significantly increases the risk of breast cancer. Why? It is believed that alcohol can influence estrogen levels and damage cellular DNA, which can contribute to the development of breast cancer.
This increased risk of cancer is not limited to breast tissue. Research has also shown that drinking more than one alcoholic beverage a day can increase the risk of colon cancer. This may also be due to the fact that alcohol reduces circulating levels of folate, a B vitamin that protects cells against cancer mutations.
In the "perfectly healthy world," the solution could be to eat non-alcoholic sources of the protective antioxidants found in red wine, such as blueberries, blueberries and walnuts… thus avoiding the potentially unpleasant side effects that accompany the intake of ethanol (even if it is with a dose of antioxidants).
In fact, many researchers advise doing just that. Y Dietary guidelines for Americans They are very clear at one point: there is not enough evidence to support red wine professionals to recommend people to intentionally add it to their diets, if they are not already taking it. This is repeated by national health guidelines in Australia; It is not recommended to drink red wine explicitly for the prevention of heart disease. There are other ways to optimize your health that do not involve any risk.
On the other hand, if you already drink red wine and enjoy this, many other experts advise that it is not necessary to stop doing it. For most people, limit their daily wine to a maximum of two drinks per day It is not likely to pose a serious risk to health.
While I personally choose not to drink alcohol as regularly as this guide allows, I sometimes like to participate in special social occasions. Here are some "healthier" (or more accurately, "less healthy") alcoholic beverages that I like to choose:
# 1 organic Reason
Saké is a Japanese rice wine that is produced by fermenting "polished" rice (ie rice without bran). During the manufacturing process, the natural starch in the rice is converted to ethanol. It is a powerful drink and a somewhat acquired flavor. Choose organic to ensure that the rice base is derived from clean and non-toxic sources.
# 2 Organic Red Wines, Sulfur-free
We have already established the le vin rouge It is not exactly a healthy food by itself. But if you're going to drink anyway, you can also infiltrate some antioxidants, right?
I always choose an organic red wine without sulfur, since the non-organic varieties are notoriously high in sulfites. You can read why we avoid sulfites and other common preservatives in this article: 22 additives and preservatives to avoid..
# 3 Organic beer, fermented live, gluten-free
Once upon a time, beer was made very differently from the types of mass production available today. Traditionally, most beers were somewhat sour, since uncontaminated yeast cultures simply were not available as they are today. The fermentation process depended to a great extent on luck, and the entrants transferred between batches often had a "lucky bath" of bacteria and wild yeast.
On the contrary, most of the current beer is made in sterile environments. However, sour beer is made a little closer to traditional methods; Strains of wild yeast and bacteria are added to the mixture on purpose. The most used strains are: Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus Y Pediococcus.
Whenever possible, I always advise looking for a gluten-free beer as well. This combo can be difficult to find commercially, so you may even want to make your own.
Organic ginger beer fermented at home # 4
While ginger beer tends to be a bit higher in sugar, if you prepare it at home, you can adjust this. In addition, there is always an option to add extra ginger; a spice well known for its digestive and anti-inflammatory benefits.
# 5 Kombucha
As a fermented product, kombucha is very alcoholic. It is not enough to take off your socks, however, the sour and gaseous taste of kombucha adapts well to the mixture with another alcohol. A ratio of 1: 1 from kombucha to organic champagne or organic white wine is quite tasty!
# 6 Honey Mead
It is believed that Mead is one of the older forms of alcohol, with records of its use dating back to 8,000 years. Instead of using grains or grapes as a source of sugar, honey is the basis for the fermentation of this drink. There are many types of mead available and I highly recommend finding an organic variety, if you can.
Those are my six best alcoholic beverages!
If you prefer a kombucha mocktail or two instead, take a look at our delicious recipes here!
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