Sunday, May 28, 2017

ALCOHOL - GOOD OR BAD?

After a busy day, meeting friends for a drink is great fun and good for you, drinking too much is bad! According to the US Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005, females can have up to 1 drink per day, men can have up to 2 drinks per day.

ONE ALCOHOL SERVING and CALORIES
1 bottle (12 oz.) beer - 5% alcohol 135 - 150
1 bottle “light” beer - 4% 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 100
Gin and tonic (7 1/2 oz. cocktail) 170
Liqueurs (1 1/2 oz.) 185

ALCOHOL THE BAD

Studies indicate that alcohol abuse causes approximately 10% of cancer deaths. We also know the distressing results of drinking and driving, and drinking and family violence. However, there are diet-related reasons to limit alcohol intake:

• FOR WEIGHT LOSS 

1. Alcohol is high in calories - alcohol supplies seven calories per gram and no other nutrients. 
2. Alcohol blocks the ability to burn fat for energy, resulting in 30% less energy coming from fat. Delays in burning fat in our bodies are not a good idea.
3. Watch alcohol quantity - an “extra light” beer contains 2% alcohol, that is, 3% less than regular beer. Switch from beer to “extra light” beer, but do not increase quantities.
4. Alcohol is usually accompanied by fat snacks - the food served with drinks often consists of ribs, chicken wings, nachos and chips - fat fixes!

• FOR WILLPOWER

Alcohol decreases willpower: “I used to find that I could eat healthy all day, but in the evening I blew my diet by drinking too much wine and then overeating. Now I drink sodas for most of the evening or alternate alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. I enjoy myself much more because I’m in control.” 

Drink water when you’re thirsty, and alcohol for the taste. This way you will enjoy your drinks more. 

• FOR THIRST 

When drinking alcohol, drink more water, especially before going to bed. Although alcohol makes you fall asleep quickly, you’ll wake up in the night feeling thirsty and restless. Cut back and sleep well.

• FOR FINANCIAL REASONS

Alcohol is expensive. If you’re on a budget, cut back on this beverage. Don’t make the excuse that fruits and vegetables are expensive this season, and then choose alcohol regularly. Get things into perspective.

ALCOHOL THE GOOD

• “I HEAR ALCOHOL IS GOOD FOR HEART DISEASE”

The French have a low incidence of heart disease yet eat heart-attack producing saturated fats from cream, butter and beef, and they smoke. Why? Perhaps it’s because they eat small portions, maintain a healthy body weight and walk a lot. Or is it because they drink red wine?

If red wine is the answer, the amount of red wine consumed with meals should be one to two glasses per day. This doesn’t mean you should start drinking wine if you’re not a drinker, or increasing your red wine intake if you are.

• FOR SOCIALIZING - FUN!

“Please don’t take away my occasional glass of wine.” - a plea from Vanessa. She doesn’t consider herself a drinker, but likes to have one or two glasses of wine socially. She wanted to know if she does have wine, which foods should she eliminate.

I told Vanessa to keep track of her alcohol intake. If it is indeed only the amount that she remembers, then it’s fine. Drinking alcohol on occasion does not mean eliminating other foods. It is important to form habits that you can live with, not restrict yourself and decrease your quality of life,


DRINKING RULES
1. Drink water when thirsty. 
2. Sip alcoholic drinks slowly. 
3. Dilute your drinks with club or diet soda. 
4. If you don’t feel like an alcoholic drink, have an orange or tomato juice, tonic water or club soda. 
5. Drink what you want to drink, not what is expected of you. 
6. Limit your alcohol intake to one or two servings and save money!


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