Alcohol in moderation

Have you ever thought about your drinking patterns?  I drank some as a young adult, but went through close to twenty years when I rarely, if ever, had a drink. I was a busy working parent and also did not want to have alcohol around the home while raising our children. Clearly another huge factor was being exposed to alcoholism in my family while growing up.

I began drinking wine only while pairing it with foods I love.  Know how much you are drinking.  These different wine glasses all have 5 ounces, but the amount does not look the same at all!

There are many mixed messages regarding alcohol use.  We hear of some of the possible health benefits and risks

When it comes to alcohol, the key is moderation. If you currently don’t drink, don’t start drinking for the possible health benefits. In some cases, it’s safest to avoid alcohol entirely.

Moderate alcohol use for healthy adults means up to one drink a day for women of all ages and men older than age 65, and up to two drinks a day for men age 65 and younger.

Examples of one drink include:

  • Beer: 12 fluid ounces (355 milliliters)
  • Wine: 5 fluid ounces (148 milliliters)
  • Distilled spirits (80 proof): 1.5 fluid ounces (44 milliliters)
In certain situations, the risks of alcohol may outweigh the possible health benefits:
  • You’re pregnant or trying to become pregnant
  • You’ve been diagnosed with alcoholism or alcohol abuse, or you have a strong family history of alcoholism
  • You have liver or pancreatic disease
  • You have heart failure or you’ve been told you have a weak heart
  • You take prescription or over-the-counter medications that can interact with alcohol
  • You’ve had a hemorrhagic stroke (when a blood vessel in your brain leaks or ruptures)
The risks of heavy alcohol use
Heavy drinking is defined as more than three drinks on any day or more than seven drinks a week for women and for men older than age 65, and more than four drinks on any day or more than 14 drinks a week for men age 65 and younger.

Binge drinking is defined as four or more drinks within two hours for women and five or more drinks within two hours for men.

While moderate alcohol use may offer some health benefits, heavy drinking — including binge drinking — has no health benefits. Excessive drinking can increase your risk of serious health problems, including:
  • Certain cancers, including breast cancer and cancers of the mouth, throat and esophagus
  • Pancreatitis
  • Sudden death if you already have cardiovascular disease
  • Heart muscle damage (alcoholic cardiomyopathy) leading to heart failure
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Liver disease
  • Suicide
  • Accidental serious injury or death
  • Brain damage and other problems in an unborn child
  • Alcohol withdrawal syndrome
The latest dietary guidelines make it clear that no one should begin drinking or drink more frequently on the basis of potential health benefits. So don’t feel pressured to drink alcohol. However, if you do drink alcohol and you’re healthy, there’s probably no need to stop as long as you drink responsibly and in moderation.

From Mayo Clinic-Healthy Lifestyle

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s