Every week, a new study emerges offering a different point of view on the ideal alcohol consumption to remain healthy. One minute we’re told a glass of wine a day is fine, the next we learn we should abstain entirely, but what are we to believe?
In fact, moderate drinking is proven to improve the health of our hearts. This is down to the effect alcohol has on the body, acting as an anti-inflammatory, raising levels of HDL, known as the good cholesterol, and thinning the blood, all of which reduce the chance of heart attack.
Additionally, alcohol has been shown to increase insulin sensitivity, which reduces the risk of diabetes. Read more on alcohol and our health.
Your brain also benefits from alcohol consumption. Those who drink moderately are less like to suffer from dementia in old age. Read more on alcohol use among older people.
Drinkers also tend to lead more social lifestyles, which reduces stress, anxiety and loneliness all of which are known to shorten life.
Of course, the above only applies to moderate drinking. A recent study showed that 5% of deaths worldwide can be attributed to alcohol.
So the real question is: how to drink healthily.
Drink healthy types of alcohol
Firstly, what you drink is important. Some recommended drinks include tequila as they are lower in calories and have natural sugar that won't raise your blood sugar levels. Furthermore, the sugar in tequila is shown to help lower cholesterol and can help you lose weight.
Other healthy alternatives are red wine, which has a ton of health benefits including improving overall heart health, and slowing down the process of glucose hitting the bloodstream, which stops high spikes of insulin.
There's also rum - made from molasses and other sugarcane byproducts, it has been proven to enhance mental health in several ways. In moderation, a standard serving of rum can reduce anxiety, for example.
Additionally, one serving of whiskey contains as many antioxidants as a glass of wine and contains ellagic acid, known for fighting off cancer by absorbing rogue cells.
For the classier drinkers, champagne has been found to be a healthier alcohol alternative, too. It's been found to enhance memory performance and also skin health.
If you're a beer fan, the bad news is that almost every beer you drink will be high in calories and carbs. With that, it's easier to get you full and you will develop a beer belly.
Have a look at more of the best and worst alcohol for weight loss and also how to enjoy alcohol without ruining your weight loss plan.
Have non-alcohol days
Secondly, it is essential that you have days off the booze entirely, to give your body a chance to heal. There are also a ton of benefits from giving your body a rest from alcohol.
Some benefits of alcohol-free days include sleeping better, being more energetic, better mood, weight loss, and reducing your risk of diseases related to the heart, liver, and cancer.
Not to mention, there's the benefit of saving money from spending on alcohol, too!
However, the real key is moderate consumption, meaning one or two drinks per day. Note that this number drops the older you are. This is because when we age, we metabolise alcohol less effectively.
Read more of our tips on safe and healthy drinking and how to stay sober.
We hope this post has helped you improve your drinking habits. If you’re participating in OcSober this year, you’re already doing your waistline a favour 😉
If you're interested to know how alcohol affects your body, then the best way to check that you are remaining within your daily limit, no matter your age, gender or size, is with a personal breathalyser.
Discreet and light, our personal breathalysers will give a near-instant reading, allowing you to enjoy the myriad health benefits of your favourite tipple without slipping into dangerous territory.