You probably don’t bother to think, when sipping on a glass of wine or beer at the end of a day, whether your booze suits your plant-based diet. Alcohol seems to be so obviously free of animal products but it is worth taking a look at what goes into it to make sure you can indulge in a drink while following a plant-based diet.
So, is alcohol plant based? Yes, alcohol is generally plant based. Most common beers and wines are produced through a process called fermentation. The basic process of alcohol formation does not involve any use of animal products.
Let us dive deeper into the constituents in alcohol and other considerations to find out whether you can indulge in them when following a plant-based diet.
Why Alcohol Is Plant Based?
The process of making alcohol is pretty simple and straightforward. Both fermentation and distillation processes involve no use of animal products. The main ingredients in alcohol are often fruits like grapes or whole grains, which are plant-based.
However, some manufacturers sweeten their liquors with honey or other ingredients. So it is best to check the labels and make sure the alcohol you are consuming is plant-based. It is also important to watch the amounts of fining agents added to refine the drinks as they can interfere with your diet restrictions.
What Are The Main Ingredients In Alcohol?
The primary ingredients involved in the production of alcohol vary depending on the type of drink you choose. However, most often, beers, wines and other popular alcoholic drinks are made from fruits, vegetables and grains, all of which come naturally from plants.
Some brands offer alcohol products containing other ingredients like honey or artificial sweeteners and flavors. Ingredients like gelatin, isinglass, casein and carmine are also added to alcohols to refine and make them clear. These additives are present in very small amounts and should not interfere with your restrictions on a plant-based diet.
Alcoholic drinks have been used for their taste and effects. They are also used as food for their nutritional value. Those who drink these beverages can benefit by using them in moderation. Most types of alcoholic drinks are high in calorie count. A serving of 1.5 ounces of liquor contains anywhere between 100-150 calories while wine and beer have 150 calories on average.
Alcohol itself has no minerals or vitamins. This means a beverage with high alcoholic content has fewer nutrients. A 12 ounce serving of beer delivers 8% of the daily recommended intake of niacin and Vitamin B6, 5% of folate and riboflavin and other nutrients in small amounts.
Unfiltered alcohols are more nutritious than filtered products sold commercially. Most alcoholic beverages contain little to no sodium or fat. For example, a single serving of beer has less than 2g of protein, no fat and little sodium. Hard liquor and wine contain no protein, fat or sodium while mixed beverages can sometimes have nutrition value.
So, you can indulge in your favorite alcoholic drinks when on a plant-based diet. However, remember to consume high-quality products to make sure they don’t contain artificial additives and animal-based ingredients. Moreover, use these beverages in moderation as they deliver no nutritional benefits to your body and can affect your health adversely.