Over the years, much has been made about the supposed health benefits of drinking red wine. While it’s nice to imagine that an occasional alcoholic beverage may impart some healthy benefit, in fact most research suggests that no level of alcohol intake is considered “healthy”. Some people may be able to safely consume alcohol, but it’s important to know your family history, be aware of safe drinking amounts, and plan appropriately so you never, ever drink and drive.
Ideas in regards to red wine offering cardiovascular benefits arise from the properties of resveratrol found in red grape skin. A powerful antioxidant, resveratrol can benefit the lining of the blood vessel and lower blood pressure among other benefits. The challenge is that all alcohol, whether wine, beer or liquor, is mostly ethanol, also known as ethyl alcohol or ETOH. Research consistently shows a strong association between alcohol intake and a variety of cancers, from esophageal to breast, pancreatic, and liver cancer. The mood, behavior, and coordination changes to the brain that come with alcohol intake are a risk to anyone, and unfortunately make drinking a risk to not only the drinker, but to those they come in contact with. This is why it can be difficult to determine a safe drinking amount.
Standard drink serving size varies by the type of alcoholic beverage but is considered 12 fluid ounces of regular beer, 5 fluid ounces of wine or 1.5 fluid ounces of distilled spirits. Each of these contains about 14 grams of alcohol, and depending on many factors, such as an individual’s weight, metabolism, medications they take, genetics and more, may cause varying short and long-term effects.
Now may be the right time for you to cut-down or cut-out alcohol. Consider trying a non-alcoholic cocktail, or mocktail, the next time you are out. Even a glass of sparkling water or club soda with some lemon or lime can be a refreshing change!
Try this mocktail from Food and Wine. It’s a twist on a classic mojito. I personally like to add some fresh jalapeno to spice it up! Cheers!