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Author Topic: How does wine and alcohol fit into the WB lifestyle?  (Read 2537 times)


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How does wine and alcohol fit into the WB lifestyle?
« on: March 07, 2014, 05:34:11 PM »
    I have been having a hard time locating useful and reliable information about how wine and distilled spirits such as vodka might fit into the Wheat Belly lifestyle. For several years I have almost always had one glass of red wine (250 mL, or one-third of a typical wine bottle) with my evening meal. I believe it to be a civilized custom to have wine with meals. Dr. Davis seems to endorse red wine at the bottom of page 213, while of course rejecting beer due to its wheat content. He seems to be silent on distilled beverages (e.g., vodka). Of course, I am talking about alcohol in moderation (one glass per day, at most).
[/size]I came across the following article at the URL
[/size]Alcohol & Carbohydrates: Five Myths[/b]
[/size]by David J. Hanson, Ph. D.[/b]
[/size]The author of The Low Carb Bartender: Carb Counts of Beer, Wine, Mixed Drinks and More argues that the subject of alcohol and carbohydrates is usually presented by the media in a misleading or incorrect manner. Bob Skilniks reference book lists the carbohydrate counts of over 1,000 beers, 400 wines, and more than 200 mixed drinks.
[/size]The author says that descriptions of alcohol and its effects on blood sugar or the metabolization of carbohydrates found in low-carb diet books is usually wrong. To correct this misinformation he has corrected the top five myths about alcohol and carbs.
[/size]1. The liver does not metabolize alcohol into sugar. On the contrary, most people will experience a dip in their blood sugar (glucose) levels when consuming alcohol. Alcohol is eventually broken down by the liver into acetate, and finally into carbon dioxide and water---not sugar.
[/size]2. Non-alcohol beers do not contain less carbohydrates than regular-brewed beers. In fact, they are all higher in carbs than a typical beer, some almost double in carbohydrate content. Unfortunately, there are too many websites that incorrectly claim that NA beers are both alcohol-free and low in carbohydrates.
[/size]3. The glycemic index (GI) of beer, wine, and distilled products is zero. The urban legend that alcoholic beverages have high GIs, has been floating around the diet book circuit for years. If you're on any type of diet or practice a lifestyle that monitors the glycemic index or gycemic load of food and drink, you can still enjoy a libation or two.
[/size]4. There are carbohydrates in all wines, even the driest styles, despite what some wine appreciation websites might tell you. The only alcoholic beverages that can possibly have a zero-carb content are distilled products. Fermentation will always leave some residual sugar behind in the form of carbs.
[/size]5. There is no sugar in rum. Alcohol is derived from high-carbohydrate fermentables such as sugar, molasses, potatoes, or various grains. If you understand the processes of fermentation and distillation, you'll know that the end result of distillation is ethyl alcohol, a zero-carb liquid.
[/size]As a scientist, I know that points 2-5 above are true, with the following caveats, by number.
[/size]2.) No caveats.
[/size]3.) Beer must have some very low (but nevertheless non-zero) GI due to the suspended and dissolved non-sugar carbohydrate solids.
[/size]4.) No caveats.
[/size]5.) This is true for plain old regular rum. But today there are all kinds of flavored rums with added sugars.
[/size]So what do you all think about how wine fits into the WB lifestyle?
Tom (tpbeebejr)
Wheat-free since 15 Jan 2014

Bob Niland (Boundless)

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Re: How does wine and alcohol fit into the WB lifestyle?
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2014, 05:54:03 PM »
I posted some info on a recent discussion on a thread (that is not obviously about booze). I'll repost the text here:
I had this exchange back in 2012 with Dr. Davis on his Toast to Wine thread.

He never did write an article about the wider metabolic implications of low-moderate alcohol consumption. It's been raised on Dr. Peter Attia's blog as well, and he hasn't deeply opined on it either.

Mark Sisson has written about it several times:

Choose Your Booze: A Guide to Healthy Drinking

Alcohol: The Good and the Bad

Dear Mark: Alcohol

I consume only wine, and tend toward dry. Target is one bottle or less per week, not all at once; this seems to be a paleo rule of thumb. Sweet and fortified wines are apt to be high in sugar, although I haven't run the numbers, and it's difficult because the BATFE does not want us to be informed consumers.

Beers are down to a couple of gluten-free (GF) beers a year, due to gluten-bearing grains and carbs. Bards and Omission, both GF, are 15 grams net carbs, which is the entire budget for one meal or 6-hour period.

Mixed drinks are generally a carb disaster, although home-prepared mimics can be OK, such as a margarita sweetened with stevia and some alternative to the orange liqueur (e.g. triple sec), as liqueurs tend to be sugar-heavy. Raw lemon and lime juice is pretty low carb. It's going to be a long time before you can routinely order a low-carb cocktail in pubs.

If ketosis is the goal, ethyl alcohol is pretty clearly not your friend.


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Re: How does wine and alcohol fit into the WB lifestyle?
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2014, 06:55:09 PM »
My poison of choice is non-grain-based vodka, like Blue Ice or Tito's. In high end places where they have neither, I typically go with Chopin or Ciroc. In low end places like my favorite dive bar, Smirnoff.

When I can't get grain-free liquors, I go with red or white wine. White if I'm having a lot (to avoid that red gums and lips look).

As I've mentioned on other threads, I'm a weekend drinker. I did Atkins 10 years ago and found it personally unsustainable because (1) I was eating too much protein for weightlifting to stay in ketosis, and (2) not drinking did not fit into my lifestyle.

In fitness circles there's a saying that goes, the best exercise is the one you keep doing. When it comes to a WOE or WOL (way of living), you've got to choose one that you can maintain. I drink; whether good or bad, I do. And my WOE / WOL has to allow for that.

Jan in Key West

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Re: How does wine and alcohol fit into the WB lifestyle?
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2014, 01:21:43 PM »
Most nutritional blogs that I read, including Davis, Eades, Attia, Perlmutter etc. suggest that consuming one to two glasses of wine per day is acceptable. We generally drink red wine along with a dinner of low vegetable carbs, moderate protein and high fat....and while my husband usually drinks a larger volumn than I do, he outweighs me by 45 pounds so his body can tolerate it better than mine. Of course, we do refrain during short fasts.....
« Last Edit: March 09, 2014, 06:08:39 AM by Jan in Key West »


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Re: How does wine and alcohol fit into the WB lifestyle?
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2014, 02:34:59 PM »
I'm having chardonnay during happy hour (maybe with a bit of Kerrygold Ballyshannon cheddar---yum---and a few raw walnuts) and some yummy chicken soup tonight.

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Re: How does wine and alcohol fit into the WB lifestyle?
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2014, 02:34:59 PM »

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