Nutrition Wednesday: Alcohol

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I, like most of my fellow American adults, enjoy a good alcoholic beverage every now and then. Personally, I like Risata Moscato wine that comes in the blue bottles sold at Costco (and I don’t enjoy much else haha). Delish! Unfortunately, I tend to avoid drinking on a daily or even weekly basis, as alcohol tends to have A LOT of calories. I’m here to tell you today though, that if you do drink on a weekly basis or whatever basis, there are benefits to consuming moderate amounts of alcohol. Basically, if you’re an average girl and you drink 1 drink a day or an average male and you drink 2 drinks a day, you lower your risk of heart attack, stroke, and diabetes. Please note, I am NOT speaking to the heavy binge drinking college students because let’s be REAL, that type of behavior is NEVER going to be healthy on any level! The following is a list of some tips and information about alcohol that either you may not have known or never considered:

  • Most benefits of alcohol are observed in middle-aged people (sorry my fellow 20 year olds- drinking is actually linked to a lot of accidents for us!)
  • Moderate drinking people!
  • Don’t start drinking or drink more often to obtain these magical “benefits” – the risks outweigh the benefits… sorry!
  • Wine has a list of benefits, but equal amounts of risks, so you’re not really getting ahead by drinking wine per say (I was sad about this one as I am a wine drinker)
  • If you are going out and plan to be partaking in some cray festivities but don’t want to gain weight like crazy too, drink lower calorie drinks (vodka soda is fairly low in calories – any flavor vodka + club soda, there are also skinnygirl mixes sold at Target, etc.)
  • If you want to socially drink and not risk getting drunk, make sure you eat before you drink and avoid salty foods that will make you thirsty.
  • Alcohol makes you pee more often, which in turn dehydrates you. To combat this effect, make sure you get ice in your drinks and switch between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
  • If you’re pregnant, PLEASE DO NOT DRINK!
  • Heavy drinking can cause dementia.
  • Switching or mixing drinks won’t stop you from having a hangover.
  • The best thing for a hangover is time. Vitamins, aspirin, drinking more, eating, etc., are futile. Just don’t repeat your actions next time!
  • Don’t consume drugs and alcohol at the same time, even taking an aspirin after drinking is a no-no! I used to take aspirin before I went to bed because I thought it would prevent a hangover the next day… yeah I’m never doing that again.
  • Alcohol promotes fat storage in the body = gaining weight.
  • Alcohol tends to promote improper food intake.

I hope that you are a little more informed about the effects of alcohol and the best practices if you so choose to consume alcohol. Please be safe if you do choose to drink and DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE! My best friend was hit by a drunk driver and she is still going through therapy two years later from the accident. And she was lucky. Remember that with everything in life, moderation is key! Picking up drinking to get the benefits that alcohol provides is not recommended. It is wiser to exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet than to drink.

Please note that I am *not* a nutritionist or nutrition expert, this is information based on my own knowledge and experience that I took away from the book Nutrition: Concepts and Controversies by Sizer and Whitney. Please consult a doctor before starting any nutrition routine or prescribing to any diet. I do not promote or support the drinking of minors nor do I promote or support drinking and driving or binge drinking/alcoholism.

What is your favorite alcoholic beverage?

Have you ever drank an alcoholic beverage because you thought it would be beneficial to your health?

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