Going on vacation and drinking seem to go hand in hand. Because having a drink after work has become a typical way to destress, we take it to the next level on vacation and really unwind! That’s why it’s called Happy Hour! We know that drinking can lead to seeing ourselves on a Girls Gone Wild video, but we also hear all the time about how wine is good for our hearts. So how do we navigate the information, stay healthy, but enjoy ourselves?
We are all consumed by and often confused by, what is healthy for us and what isn’t. I’m guilty of jumping on a bandwagon whenever a new study shows that one of my favorite things has some kind of health benefit. So far, I’ve never read anything that tells me I mustn’t eat dark chocolate so I won’t be giving that up anytime soon. One area that has always been controversial is alcohol.
There have been hundreds of studies suggesting that having a drink a day will lower your risk of heart disease. What we need to beware of is the fact that more isn’t better in this case. It is the moderate to light drinkers who are reaping the benefits. A drink, in these studies is generally a rather smallish, by Cougartown standards, 5 ounce glass of wine, a 12 ounce beer, or 1 and a half ounces of hard liquor.
Cardiologists certainly don’t prescribe tequila shots for their heart patients. In fact, there isn’t a strong degree of certainty that it is the alcohol that is helping the moderate drinkers or if that is simply a lifestyle factor of people who are less stressed and more moderate and health conscious in all aspects of their lives.
Some research has shown that the benefits of moderate alcohol consumption are limited to older people who have existing risk factors such as high cholesterol. Younger women may be putting themselves at risk to breast cancer. Women should consider taking a supplement containing folate to help minimize that risk.
Put Down The Bottle
Unfortunately, the benefits go out the window, and the risks are high once you start consuming more than your drink a day. If you don’t have the ability to just have one, then you shouldn’t open a bottle unless you have friends to share it with. It definitely doesn’t make sense to start drinking for possible benefits.
My mom is generally a moderate drinker but recently did a long session of bootcamp and during that time didn’t drink at all. She was eating right, burning a ton of calories, losing weight and feeling fantastic. She found that it was much easier to stay on track without the alcohol. This will be the case for a lot of people. Mom is much healthier at a lower weight and eating right so by giving up the alcohol, even in small amounts, she was making a healthy choice.
Quality Over Quantity
What this means to the average person is that we should enjoy a drink, and if we are going to only enjoy one, we should make it count. There is nothing nicer than a glass of wine that complements a terrific meal. Wine pairing can be a fun way to discover new favorites. Most food magazines give ideas for wines to accompany recipes and will usually suggest wines for different price ranges.
Nikki White is a socialite and freelance writer who has plenty of experience when it comes to alcohol. She often writes and blogs about socializing and how to go out and enjoy some Vegas nightlife.
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