It’s the holiday season! Cue the seasonal parties and increased stress. Many may find themselves reaching for one alcoholic drink too many during this time of year. In fact, a quarter of the profits from spirits come from the period between Thanksgiving and the new year.
But what impact might this have on our health?
Research has shown that heavy drinking is associated with an increased risk of developing over 200 medical conditions including liver disease and cancer. It also increases risk of stroke and can raise blood pressure.
The recommended intake for alcohol is no more than two drinks or less for men and one drink or less for women per day. Alcoholic beverages supply calories but very little nutritional value, so moderation is important for overall health.
If you choose to drink during this holiday season, here are some tips on how to sip smarter:
Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025 . Food and Nutrition Service United States Department of Agriculture. Accessed November 29, 2021.
Editorial Staff. Holiday binge drinking: Statistics & data. American Addiction Centers. Published April 7, 2020. Accessed November 29, 2021.
O’Keefe JH, Bhatti SK, Bajwa A, DiNicolantonio JJ, Lavie CJ. Alcohol and Cardiovascular Health: The dose makes the poison…or the remedy. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2014;89(3):382-393.
Poppitt S. Beverage Consumption: Are alcoholic and sugary drinks tipping the balance towards overweight and obesity? Nutrients. 2015;7(8):6700-6718.
By Lola Horton, MGH Dietetic Intern