Alcohol

Alcohol is one of the nutrition subjects we had difficulty addressing in this book .
Now whether or not you drink is a personal choice and we respect that . But as far as we are concerned, we see no benefits from consuming alcohol and in the few cases where there are advantages, the health benefit is minimal .

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If you come home stressed after a lousy day, we believe that you’re better off taking a 30-minute walk than taking a drink, if your health is a priority . Reaching for your walking or running shoes is the right way to handle stress from a health perspective .

Also, choosing your calories wisely is very important to maintaining a healthy body weight . Instead of having a drink, another way to beat that after-work stress overload or deal with a crazy day juggling family responsibilities is to eat a piece of fruit or a bagel . These provide you with nutrients to help you meet your daily requirements and fuel to meet daily challenges . Drinking a glass of alcohol provides you with no nutritional value, only what we call wasted or empty calories.

We feel people should not get caught up in what we see as the minimal health benefit of alcohol and overlook what alcohol actually does and doesn’t do for your body . However, we can’t ignore reality and we’re not out to preach . Some people enjoy a drink in moderation so we have addressed this issue according to the health professionals’ recommendations. Alcohol can have both beneficial and detrimental effects on health . How it influences your health largely depends on the amount you drink . One positive effect of alcohol is that it may decrease the risk of heart disease when consumed in moderation . On the downside, alcohol contains calories that can be stored as body fat . Alcohol is dehydrating and increases the excretion of minerals such as magnesium, calcium and zinc . Long term, heavy drinking (three or more drinks a day) increases the risk of liver disease, high blood pressure and stroke . Alcohol has been linked to an increased risk of breast, esophageal, mouth and throat cancer.

Drinking in moderation

Moderation means no more than two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women .

1 drink = 1 bottle (about 350 mL) of beer
1 drink = 5 oz (150 mL) of wine
1 drink = 11
⁄2 oz . (50 mL) of liquor
* If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, avoid alcohol . This can’t be stressed enough .
If you drink alcohol in moderation you may be getting some heart health benefits; however, if you abstain from alcohol, most health authorities recommend that you don’t start drinking just to stave off heart disease . There are more powerful ways to promote heart health—exercise, eating well and losing weight . If you don’t drink already, don’t start .If you do drink, do so in moderation

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