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Dinner Diva: Is alcohol friend or foe when dieting?

the-dinner-divaSummer means cookouts and parties, weddings and reunions. And I have to tell you, I have been known to enjoy a cocktail at a party! (You too?)

Now, we all know that alcohol is not the healthiest thing on the planet. You don’t need me to tell you that.

However having an occasional cocktail or glass of wine can be an okay indulgence as long as you follow a few simple rules.

In my forthcoming book, Part Time Paleo, coming out later this year, I discuss how to balance Paeleo eating with life. And life includes a few parties and occasions where a celebratory drink shouldn’t put an end to your healthy lifestyle.) Notice the name of my book is Part Time Paleo–I don’t want to live in a world where I can’t have a margarita once in awhile! Can I get an amen?

So, to help you muddle your way through (pun intended) the process of figuring out which alcohols are the best and worst options for a Paleo lifestyle, I’ve put together a little cheat sheet.

Worst alcohol options

  • Wine coolers
  • Mixed drinks like mudslides or pina coladas
  • Liqueurs
  • Regular beer

Best alcohol options

  • Red wine
  • Hard cider
  • Champagne
  • Gluten-free beer
  • Tequila
  • Potato vodka
  • Whiskey
  • Rum

Best mix options

Avoid colas and the like as a mix, and instead use:

  • Club soda or mineral water
  • Coconut water
  • Coconut milk
  • Ice cubes
  • Freshly squeezed juice (especially lemons and limes; less sugar)

When you’re making drinks, add fruits and veggies where you can—the fiber will help blood sugar levels stay even (and a fresh squeeze of lime especially will buffer the insulin response of the alcohol) AND it will also fill you up so the pizza and nachos are less tempting! :)

Oh, and don’t forget to having an extra glass of water after you have an alcoholic beverage helps prevent dehydration (which is first base for a hangover)!

After you’ve enjoyed your cocktail (or cocktails, whichever the case may be!), just get back on track right where you left off. One or two drinks isn’t going to ruin your life, so don’t stress about it. Just pick up where you left off and make sure you do a little extra at the gym the next day.

More from dinner diva Leanne Ely at