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Is Alcohol Consumption Healthy
Is Alcohol Consumption Good For You?
With all the press coverage of studies showing the benefits of a glass of wine or beer lately, one can be excused for wondering, "Could it be that drinking alcohol is actually a healthy habit?"
Before we get to the possible health benefits of alcohol, let's begin by saying something no one can dispute - drinking too much is a bad thing. That's because alcohol is basically a poison, and if you ingest too much, either at one time or over the years, it will damage most of the organs in your body. So what's "too much?". Well, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, it's more than an average of one drink a day for women, and more than an average of two drinks a day for men. A "drink" is defined as 5 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor.
Here's a list of just some of the physical problems that excessive drinking can cause:
High Blood Pressure
Now for the good news. Moderate drinking (less than the one drink/two drink levels stated previously) can be beneficial to one's health. While heavy drinking increases the risk for a number of types of heart disease, moderate drinking appears to lessen the possibility of coronary heart disease and heart attack, raise levels of good cholesterol, and reduce the risk of a number of types of dementia, including Alhzeimer's.
It's probably not the alcohol which is responsible for these advantages, but other components, such as flavinoids and polyphenols. The best known of these is probably the ingredient in red wine known as resveratrol, which is an antioxidant that comes from grape skins. Should you prefer beer to wine, consider dark beer. The components which make it dark are the flavinoids, and are the ones that produce the health-enhancing results.
Please note that if you currently are a teetotaler, no one is advising you to start drinking alcoholic beverages to take advantage of the apparent health benefits. Eating lots of fruits and vegetables is a better way to ingest sufficient antioxidants.
Both beer and wine are converted to sugar in the body, so if you have diabetes or any other blood sugar disorder, be aware of that.
So we can safely say that if one chooses to drink alcohol, they should maintain it at a moderate level and keep the color of the drinks on the dark side. Also, even though there are health benefits from moderate drinking, it's not advised to start drinking to obtain those benefits.
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