Choosing the best alcohol to drink can be tricky. We all want to live healthy and alcohol does have a place in a healthy lifestyle. One might argue that alcohol is a poison but same can be argued about orange juice. Getting fucked up is ingrained in our evolutionary biology and alcohol is not a bad way to do it. The Center for Disease Control is now urging people of all ages to broaden the discussion on a healthy diet to include moderate consumption of alcohol. In fact, a moderate alcohol intake is supported not only by the CDC, but by The Mayo Clinic, and Harvard as well. A moderate intake is defined as one drink for women and two for men per day. Let’s take a closer look at some of these potions in closer detail.
Most will agree that the best alcohol to consume on a hot summer’s day or while enjoying your favorite ball game is a nice cold beer. The barley and hops that goes into a typical 12-ounce beer make it richer in B vitamins than either wine or cider. Beer is also higher in protein, so if you’re going to indulge in an alcoholic drink beer is a good choice. If this is your intoxicant of choice, it is worthwhile for you to learn more about some of beer’s other interesting benefits. Keep in mind that beer is typically lower in alcohol by volume so its effect on the body can be slower to recognize. Thus, people often drink more beer than what would be considered a moderate amount. Beer also contains gluten which can interact with the immune system. For those with celiac disease, beer is not the best alcohol to drink so let’s take a look at some other favorites. Lastly, beer is comparatively high in carbs so overconsumption can be an issue if you’re on a keto type diet. The chart below shows how many carbs (in grams) can be found in popular brands of beer.
Carbs (in grams) in popular beer brands
Some grapes used in making red wine are high in fiber, making a five-ounce serving of wine the best alcohol to drink if you are looking for a potential aid in lowering cholesterol levels. Studies in Spain saw a decrease in the LDL cholesterol (the bad one) of around 10% on average for participants. This coupled with the antioxidants usually found in red wine, make it the best alcohol to drink for lowering the risk of heart attacks. The carotenoids in red wine also help to reduce the risk of cataracts and other degenerative eye diseases.
The alcohol content in red wine varies greatly, so pick one with a lower alcohol by volume. Another risk with consuming red wine is the lectins that remain after it is processed. These lectins are proteins that are better able to withstand the digestive enzymes in the stomach, making them harder for the body to break down. People with IBS or existing allergies may be prone to the nasty side effects of lectins, which can induce anaphylactic shock.
Carbs (in grams) per serving of wine.
Similar to red wine, a five-ounce serving of white wine or champagne can be healthy for the heart. Certain black grape varieties used in making champagne contain phenolic acid which has been shown to reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s. Additionally, if you’re watching your weight, champagne is the best alcohol to drink due to its generally lower caloric content. While white wine is typically lower in calories (about 20-25 calories per ounce) than red wine or beer the serving sizes can be an issue. A standard wine glass can hold almost twice the recommended serving size so it is easy to overindulge.
Clear alcohols like vodka are generally accepted to deliver alcohol in its purest form and result in fewest side effects or interactions. They are also extremely low in cholesterol, saturated fat, sodium and carbs, making it the best alcohol to drink in moderation on a low-carb diet. The problem is that we often tend to mix them with garbage like sugar-saturated sodas as shown below which spikes the carb content through the roof. They’re also easy to overindulge on due to their high concentration of alcohol by volume. If you have the capacity to savor the taste and aroma of a whiskey on the rocks then this might not be a bad way to go. A vodka or gin soda is also an excellent low calorie way to go. Juniper berries, the main ingredient in gin, have a history of medicinal use, especially in fighting off coughs and lung congestion. The composition of the alcohol can also help relieve aching joints and aid in digestion.
Carbs (in grams) per serving of mixed drinks.
Best Alcohol to Drink For You
In practice, the best alcohol to drink is a matter of tastes and preferences, your genetic reaction to alcohol and the wide spectrum of substances it is diluted in, as well as, your ability to moderate its consumption. One drink per day doesn’t mean you can have seven drinks in one day, and still consider your consumption moderate. Heavy drinking damages just about all of the organs it comes in contact with and can be fatal in excess amounts. Gaining the skill and self control to moderate the intake of these magical potions can be a real life skill worth harnessing.