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Bottoms Up! Is Moderate Drinking Healthy For You?

Friday, February 15, 2013


Drinking alcohol is prevalent throughout the United States and many people partake responsibly and with moderation. But, is it good for you? The pendulum in this issue has swung to extremes over-time.

The American Heart Association prefers the term ‘moderate drinking’ as acceptable for health. The explanation for this is 1 drink per day for women and 2 drinks per day for men. The differentiation is due to total body water for men versus women. Men have more body water which results in lower blood alcohol concentration level since the alcohol is distributed throughout the ‘water space’ according to Gary Murray from NIAAA.

The media has reported on research studies detailing the benefits of drinking red wine to protect against cardiovascular disease due to antioxidant-rich grape skins. Hard alcohol and sugary mixed drinks don’t show these benefits. No organization would recommend you start drinking to achieve health benefits if you presently abstain. The overall combination of healthy eating, healthy lifestyle, regular exercise and relaxation provide more benefits than drinking alcohol may bring.

If weight management is your goal, make sure to accommodate the calories in different alcohol drinks in your overall food plan. A wine portion is considered 5 ounces (though many glasses hold up to 12 ounces), beer is 12 ounces and 1.5 ounces for 80-proof liquor. Pre-made mixers are a calorie bomb as well as Irish coffee, not spiced cider and eggnog.

There are those that should not drink: those with a family history of alcoholism, those taking certain prescription drugs for heart or blood-vessel disease, digestive problems, diabetes, anxiety, depression, or if you are pregnant.

Make sure you know the dangers of mixing alcohol with any new prescription. Your trusted pharmacist or doctor can give you this information. Having information allows you to make intelligent choices involving alcohol and your long-term health.

Also read: Are Women More Likely To Become Addicted to Opioids?
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