What about alcohol?

10 February 2021

I’ve addressed coffee in a previous post, but another frequently asked question for those of us working in nutrition is “What about alcohol?”⁠

Well, I am sorry, but alcohol is not a health food. You might be saying, “But red wine is good for you!” Nope, sorry, not true. Just because grapes are high in antioxidants does not make wine good for your heart. Yes, I know, there was a famous study that said so, but if you’ve read my post on nutrition misinformation, then you’ll understand that it ain’t so.⁠

So, what does alcohol do to your body?⁠

  • As it is toxic, your body will prioritise burning it as fuel, and store carbs and fat away while doing so. Not good if you are wanting to lose weight!⁠
  • Causes inflammation⁠
  • Can cause you to lose control of your eating urges⁠
  • Is a diuretic and contributes to dehydration⁠
  • It stresses the liver (actually the entire body)⁠
  • Reduces deep sleep, suppresses REM sleep, fragments sleep during the second half of the night and shortens overall sleep duration⁠
  • Depletes vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, B12 and K, and copper, magnesium and potassium⁠
  • It decreases zinc absorption and increases urinary zinc excretion. Zinc is needed to produce stomach acid. (Over 50% of people who drink moderate to high amounts of alcohol are severely zinc deficient.)⁠
  • Can exacerbate symptoms of yeast infection
  • Can increase blood sugar levels
  • Is a major contributor to higher uric acid levels and tends to increase the incidence of gout
  • It is addictive.⁠

⁠According to Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride, in her book Gut and Physiology Syndrome, alcohol and sugar addictions are two sides of the same coin. She says to overcome an addiction to both alcohol and sugar, you need to eat lots of animal fats at each meal.

I don’t get preachy about alcohol. If you choose to drink it, just understand that it is toxic and that it will in any amount put stress on the your body’s cells, organs and systems. If you have healing to do, or weight to lose, then it might just be something to think about.⁠

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About Tira

About Tira

Tira Cole is a nutritionist, researcher and educator. Her passion is meat-based nutrition and support of farming.

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I don't do coffee, but I wouldn't say no to a bite of steak 😋