The Booze Pyramid

The American Food Pyramid is kind of ridiculous.

Taken at face value, without reading any asterisks or detailed information on "portion" control, I would look at the pretty diagram and think I should be eating 11 bowls of cereal a day for optimum health.

"Oh hey! I've only had two bowls of cereal so far today. I'd better have some toast and crackers!"

On the one hand, I get that this is a "guide" and that it needs to be taken in a larger context.

On the other hand, you may note that this pyramid includes "chips."


So while the entirety of the world is laughing at our enormous American asses and pointing at our version of the food pyramid and snickering, I embrace it. Because, you may note, along side the "yogurt" there appears to be a chocolate shake. And I can have up to three of those a day.

Anyway, I started thinking about how even though there are generic chocolate shakes and mayo in this pyramid (and I'm pretty sure that's a lollipop there ABOVE THE FRIED EGG), SOMEHOW there is no wine. No beer.

Just, no booze at all.

If you ask me, this is precisely the problem with this country. We are ONE step away from featuring DEEP FRIED COCA-COLA on our food pyramid under the "use sparingly" category...

America: First we invented Coca-Cola, then jazz music. Then we put humans on the moon.
Then something bad happened. Now we deep-fry Coke.

...and yet not a single martini glass is featured.

This is flawed logic to the nth degree. It simply doesn't make sense. If you can feature a chocolate shake, SURELY you can include one tiny little bottle of tequila. No?

Well, fine.

Then I present to you the companion pyramid.

The Booze Pyramid:


Many of you have wondered, "Hey, Kristy? How can I incorporate alcoholic tendencies into my overall nutrition plan?" And you know. It's a good question, really. One that I will endeavor to answer with an equal amount of scientific evidence and research-based facetiousness.

At the base of the pyramid, we have the Beer and Wine group. Because beer is made from grains -- much like cereal -- you can have plenty of servings of it. Beer is loaded with carbs, so it gives you all the energy you need to do active things. Like lift beer bottles.

Wine is made from grapes, which are fruit. Now, you may have noticed that in the "normal" pyramid, it is suggested that you consume 2-4 servings of fruit a day, yet I have it in the 1-12 servings category. I am very glad you are paying attention.

See, this is because "science" has not yet agreed on what a "serving" of wine is. Some say it's "4 ounces," while some say it's "6 ounces." However, other, more brilliant experts who are me say it's "a bottle."

Regardless, drinking wine provides you with all the health benefits of other fruits -- antioxidants, for example -- plus has the added bonus of making you seem very sophisticated even when it's making your lips and teeth purple. And grapes alone cannot do that.

Next we have the Mixed Cocktail Group. They're here in the middle because really, it's hard to gauge how many is appropriate for maximum health benefits. Some bars will serve a tiny little bit of liquor for several ounces of mixer, in which case 7 rum & diets makes perfect sense. In other bars, however, sometimes the mixed drink comes in a pint glass. And 7 pint glasses of booze might sound like a good idea, but I assure you -- you will see diminishing health returns after the 4th serving.

(Trust me, I have extensive empirical evidence.)

As we continue our climb up the pyramid, we get to the "-tini" Group. It's a lovely, decadent group to be sure, and its health benefits derive mostly from the fact that:

a. "-tinis" are the sorts of drinks you order when you're either on a date or looking for a date,


b. your chances of getting lucky (in either circumstance) are greatly enhanced by the "-tinis," as they are essentially small bowls of straight liquor

And I don't need to tell you about all the health benefits of getting lucky.

Lastly, however, we have the fried Coke of the Booze Pyramid. The "use sparingly" dark side of this otherwise sun-filled ancient structure of boozy goodness.

The basic problem with this last group, the Straight Group, is that it takes the health benefits of the other groups and warps them.

You will THINK you're getting the energy of beer, but really you're just careening toward a hangover. You will THINK you're appearing very sophisticated, what with your ability to hold your liquor and with your adorable proclamation of "Oh my heavens! There appear to be flecks of real gold in my drink!" except what you actually just said was "Whatthefuck is that gold shit floating in my drink!" And you said it like, 12 times.

Mostly, however, with the Straight Group, the warped health benefit's not so much "getting lucky" as it is "finding a way to leave his place silently in the middle of the night so he doesn't wake up dear God I hope I didn't give him my phone number."

* * * * * * * *
So yeah. There you have it. My very useful Booze Pyramid (think how many college freshmen would benefit from this diagram!), which is JUST as scientific and healthful as the American Food Pyramid.

I swear.


  1. fucking brilliant!! so does this mean i should only have 4 pint-sized gimlets? But there's rose's lime! that's fruit and vitamin c! that must mean i should have at least 5.

    -el snarkster

  2. If applied over a lifetime of reaearch, I SWEAR that the striaght booze is more healthful (and less filling) than any other part of the pyramid. It does take conditioning, but I believe that drinking ONLY straight booze (in my case, bourbon) will keep you from a lifetime of hangovers.

    How wonderulf that you've put this all ino print when some of ush ave had to retype their comments five and shiks times.

  3. This is brilliant. I love the grains and fruit = beer and wine.

    (As far as I'm concerned, chocolate = dairy = healthy, also.)

  4. you are a wise woman, indeed!

  5. That diagram really needs to go on a T-shirt.

  6. I see much thought has been put into this topic. I think this shows you have tremendous character.

  7. Seriously K,

    You need to market this fantastic invention of yours! Tshirts with this on the back and the She Walks little logo on the front on the left or right breast.

    I can see it now. Go now! Consider it a second income, proceeds coming from your blogging. Isn't that fantastic?!

  8. Finally!!! The justification I need to drink an entire bottle of wine! I am forwarding this to all my friends and family!

    luv you!

  9. Great post! keep up the splendid work!

  10. Hmm, I think it's missing one thing--directions to drink from the top down, a la "Liquor before beer: in the clear; beer before liquor: never sicker."

    That old adage has saved my life several times. Perhaps I should embroider it on a cute pillow. :)

  11. I cannot even begin to tell you how funny I find this. You're my hero.

  12. That thing was yogurt? I assumed the Dairy section was showing the bowl of ice cream and then the carton it came in, for the completists among us. I guess the tipoff is calling it the "Milk, Yogurt, and Cheese" section. Dairy's such an ugly word.

    What I need to know is, where do those yummy fruity vodkas fall on the pyramid? I swear that Absolut Ruby Red could qualify as a breakfast food if I didn't have this pesky job.

  13. Wait, wait... how many servings of BEE am I supposed to have today?

  14. This is the most logical thing I've ever read in my life. I'm having some fruit right now.

  15. I just found this, but my hat is off to you, this is a great leap in history of boozetritional science. Other great things about some of the pyramid components: as a brewer I can verify that beer is generally at least 90% water, and, as we all know, people should drink something like 80 oz. of water per day. Four beers at 90% water means you're over half way there! Also note that there is generally ice in the "mixed cocktail group", again getting you close to a healthy amount of water. Additionally, scotch is made from barley, another good carbohydrate source, vodka is usually distilled from wheat or potatoes, and the classic gin & tonic contains malaria-fighting quinine.

    Personally I would've made the top of the pyramid just for shots and had a level split between the "-tini" group and "straight" group (which would switch the order of "-tini" and "mixed/cocktails"), but hey, its your pyramid :)


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