I've randomly had a few questions about beer this week, along the lines of “is beer paleo” and “which beer is the most paleo friendly” and (perhaps more accurately) “which beer is the least bad on a paleo diet“
So it looks like beer is one of the things people miss most from their pre-paleo days.
So firstly, what is beer made of?
Beer tends to be made with rice, wheat or barley and hops. Yeast enables to sugars in the barley and wheat to ferment into something resembling beer. The problem, is with the wheat. As we know, grains are avoided on a paleo diet, because they contains anti-nutrients, namely phytates, lectins and of course (in the case of wheat) gluten. There are some gluten-free beers available, but as is the case with “health foods”, often removing one ingredient (i.e. gluten), requires lots of additives to successfully remove it.
If gluten is your main issue, you may have luck looking for beer made with rice or the grain sorghum. Clearly still grains, but gluten-free.
The other thing to consider is the sugar content, which can be significant. Whilst cider can be a good alternative to beer, the issue of sugar content is still there. Spirits like tequila or vodka may be a better alternative if you’re looking for a replacement alcoholic beverage (but with a soda water mixer, rather than a juice or soft drink mixer).
But ultimately, if you want to enjoy an occasional pint, personally, I think you should enjoy your favourite craft beer as an occasional treat, instead of tolerating a gluten-free version. Let’s face it, it’s not going to taste as good – and it’s never going to be a health food.
Do you (still) drink beer? Have you found a good brand – and does the gluten content have any adverse effects on you?