Last Updated on September 16, 2020
Does cooking with alcohol harm the gut?
There’s no doubt about it; alcohol does have a negative effect on the gut. There can be positives to alcohol as well, but it has a lot to do with the amount you consume.
People who drink large quantities of alcohol daily are going to destroy their health.
What about people who are sensible and have small quantities of alcohol now and then? They aren’t likely going to damage their health.
Research tells us that when you cook alcohol for twenty to thirty minutes, up to 60% of the alcohol will evaporate away. If you cook the food for 1 ½ to 2 hours, only about 5% of the original alcohol remains.
I occasionally will make a lovely beef casserole that includes some red wine. I will use a cup of red wine and cook the dish for four or five hours. By the time the stew is ready to eat, there is less than 2% of the alcohol left. That’s a risk I’m willing to take for a delicious meal.
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I haven’t experienced any adverse effects on my gut health from my very moderate use of alcohol.
I have seen some research that neutral spirits like vodka and gin might be a little less damaging to the gut when compared to non-neutral spirits like brandy and whiskey. If the alcohol is transparent and white, it’s a neutral spirit.
But vodka and gin will still have negative effects on your liver, especially if you’re drinking every day and eating a poor diet. You need to replace the nutrients that are lost through the alcohol detoxification process.
If you want a substitute for wine or brandy, you could always try fruit juice. The sugar is still high, but at least there is no alcohol. I would use fruit juice sparingly due to the fructose content. You don’t want to overload your kidneys, liver, or digestive system with alcohol or sugar.