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Is ‘Healthy’ Drinking a Real deal?


Have you been part of the current rage of ‘healthy’ cocktails and drinks? Mixologists and bartenders across the globe have started this trend wherein they are reducing the use of sugar syrups, fruit crushes, preservatives etc to retain the original goodness of alcohol and rather use fresh ingredients to make cocktails. We all know that alcohol has a high sugar content and by adding more sugar and preservatives to it, the drinks become even more unhealthy.

Keeping this aside, what about alcohol otherwise, is it healthy?

Here’s the real deal: Alcohol is only healthy in small amounts — about one drink for women a day (150 ml of wine, 350 ml of beer, or 45 ml of liquor) and two for men. After that, the benefits get hazier and the risks increase.

Drinking moderately reduces your risk of heart attacks, strokes, and hardened arteries by 25 to 40% if you’re in good physical shape. Small amounts of alcohol may contribute to raising HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels. Heavy drinking, on the other hand, increases your risk of heart disease.

Exercise is far more likely to benefit moderate drinkers than non-drinkers, and it may even have more health benefits than not drinking. Conversely, the more active you are, the more likely you are to drink occasionally. Scientists don’t know exactly where this link comes from.

Moderate drinkers are less likely to develop kidney stones: beer drinkers are 41% less likely, wine drinkers 33%. There may be some explanation for this, including the fact that alcohol, like caffeine from coffee and tea, makes you pee more frequently, which helps remove stones. However, you can get dehydrated if you drink too much, increasing your risk of kidney stones as well as other health problems.

It’s possible to minimize your risk for Alzheimer’s disease by having a drink or two every few weeks. Wine is one of the 10 “brain-healthy” food groups included in the MIND diet, which is designed to lower your risk of the disease. Also, it lowers your risk for stroke and heart disease — two conditions that can exacerbate Alzheimer’s symptoms.

It may be beneficial to drink a cocktail or a glass of wine with dinner to reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. A drink or two may aid your body in managing high blood sugar levels in a healthy way, but scientists aren’t sure why.

It’s a universal fact that an intimate relationship helps you cope with stress, and alcohol may help move things along. An experiment showed that women who drank one or two glasses of red wine daily had higher levels of desire, arousal, and sexual satisfaction. In addition, drinking can boost testosterone levels, increasing male libido, which makes both women and men more frisky, but drinking too much makes men lose their desire and the ability to have sex.

So overall, we can conclude that alcohol under moderate limits does have many health benefits and the very same alcohol can devastate your health if consumed in higher amounts. So be mindful when drinking and make sure, you remain within moderate limits.

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