Which alcohol has the least toxins?

beer-wine-cocktail-copyWe all fear the hangover understanding that alcohol should be drank in moderation, not in excess.  I often get questions about alcoholic drinks “can I enjoy a glass of wine, or a beer occasionally”. My answer is typically ‘it depends’.  If you are on a therapeutic diet with the intentions to heal then I wouldn’t encourage an alcoholic beverage through the healing period.  But if you are striving to improve your nutrition and are generally on a maintenance diet then I would answer “yes, occasionally”.   I think we all understand that alcohol in general is not good for the liver as it converts to aldehyde, the most damaging alcohol toxin AND is the metabolite responsible for hangovers. YUK!

So what alcoholic beverages produce the least amount of toxic byproduct after fermentation?  Here’s the list, from best to worst: 

Vodka: it’s made from a grain but after distillation is pure alcohol

Gin: it’s made from a grain and juniper berries.

Tequila: made from a plant which unfortunately is high in sugar BUT is mostly eradicated through the distillation process.

Whiskey: made from grains which increases the toxicity byproduct

Dry cider: grain free but can stimulate yeast overgrowth so caution.

Dry champagne: true French champagne is typically low in sugar but opt for Brut.

Dry white wine: lower in mold toxins than other wines but still unfiltered.

Red wines: high in yeast and unfiltered adding stress to your liver and kidneys.

Beer: sadly, beer contains the most amount of grains, yeast and toxins from the grains (pre-distillation) making it highly toxic.

Keep in mind that adding sugar (fruit juice, syrups, etc) to vodka, for example, will increase the toxic load and push it way down the list.  What are other ideas to replace the sugars? Add soda water, fresh limes, fresh lemons, olives, bacon, jalapenos, sea salt and so on.

Enjoy the holidays.

Be well,



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