Thursday, October 15, 2009

Guidelines for Drinking Alcohol

During the holiday season, you may need to be reminded of the benefits and hazards of drinking and overdrinking.

The studies look good if you limit yourself to one drink/day for women and two drinks/day for men. This is quite difficult if you’re female and invited to a cocktail party, dinner and late get together at a club. As I like to enjoy parties, I allow myself a drink per occasion, which means some evenings no drinks, other evenings two, bending the rules somewhat. In New York City few people drive, which makes drinking while out less complicated.

What is considered a serving size and how many calories do these drinks supply?

Examples of one drink/serving:


1 bottle (12 oz.) beer - 5% alcohol: 145

1 bottle light beer: 5-2% alcohol: 100

1 bottle “extra light” beer - 2% alcohol: 60

1 glass wine (5 oz.) - 11% alcohol: 100

1 shot (1 1/2 oz.) liquor - rye, gin, rum or scotch: NEED % of ALCOHOL 100

Gin and tonic (1 ½ oz gin with 6 oz tonic): NEED % of ALCOHOL 170

Liqueurs (1 ½ oz.): NEED % of ALCOHOL 185

The Good News

• May lower risk for heart disease and cancer; wine more than beer or liquor

• Fun to be social

The Bad News

Excess can lead to:

• Fetal alcohol syndrome if pregnant

• Increased cancer risk

• Liver cirrhosis

• High blood pressure

• Increased family violence

• Increased home accidents

• Increased traffic accidents

• Dehydration resulting in lack of sleep and a hangover

• High calorie intake: Supplies 7 calories per gram

• Slows fat burning

• Lowers will power around high fat snacks

• High costs

• A study showed that five or more drinks daily was associated with a 10% increase in death

Perhaps we should follow the DRINKING RULES:

1. When drinking alcohol, remember to alternate with water often.

2. Eat a small fat-containing snack such as 2T nuts or 1 oz cheese before you drink to slow down absorption of alcohol.

3. Sip alcoholic drinks slowly.

4. Dilute your drinks with soda water or diet soda.

5. Drink what you want to drink, not what is expected of you. If you don’t feel like an alcoholic drink, have an orange or tomato juice, tonic water or club soda.

6. Remember about all the money you’re saving when you limit your alcohol intake to recommended servings!

Hope I haven’t ruined your fun!