Wondering which alcohol is good for health? Find out which alcoholic drinks can actually be beneficial for you.
Feeling guilty about having an alcoholic beverage? Well, if you have the occasional one, it might actually be helping your healthy.
Now, let’s take a look at which alcohol is good for health.
Benefits of alcohol
Do you like to relax with a glass of beer or wine before bedtime?
I’m not a big drinker, but I do love my occasional glass of vino (especially Italian reds!). So I had to ask: Is a nightly cocktail good or bad for your health? Can drinking in moderation actually be a good thing?
Well, when it comes to nightcap benefits, they may be good for your health if you drink in moderation. There’s no need to feel guilty about finishing off your night with a glass of beer or wine!
Alcohol in moderation does have many protective benefits: It may lower the risk of heart attack and may help control your levels of cholesterol and fatty acids.
And when it comes to which alcohol is good for health, there are some that are more beneficial than others.
Interestingly, a study in The American Journal of Cardiology suggests that focusing on alcohol’s health benefits when considering a drink or two (or more) may lead to consuming more alcohol.
The study authors looked at 5,582 volunteers. A third of the subjects viewed alcohol as heart healthy, while 39 percent perceived it as unhealthy and 31 percent were unsure.
People who perceived alcohol as heart-healthy drank almost 50 percent more—a median of about five drinks per week.
How much alcohol can you have?
When it comes to alcohol, moderation is keu.
The American Heart Association advises women to have an average of one drink or less per day and men to have an average of two drinks per day or less, per the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. So having that one glass of wine a day for women is OK.
Research suggests that guidelines should perhaps be even more stringent.
Of course, when it comes to moderate alcohol consumption, you can’t save up your drinks for the week and go binge drinking. That’s not how drinking in moderation is defined!
Heavy drinking is definitely not good for you and can lead to many health problems.
On the other hand, even moderate drinking may increase your risk of high blood pressure and also that of an irregular heartbeat (which can lead to further complications).
The healthiest alcohol
When it comes to which alcoholic drink is good for health, wine is the clear winner.
Turns out your wine habit could actually be helping your heart!
I’ve mentioned before how much I love the occasional glass of red wine. In addition to the deep, bold taste, I know that a moderate amount of alcohol may not only help my stress level but my heart health, too.
And sipping the occasional glass of wine is helpful for my mental health. (Hint: This might just be the answer to which alcoholic drink is good for health!)
Wine boasts flavanols, which can help your brain health. In a study in Journal of Nutrition, older adults taking in flavonoid-rich foods including wine, chocolate, or tea had better scores on cognitive tests.
Not a fan of wine? Well, pairing your wine with cheese may be a good thing.
Turns out there may be a reason wine and cheese are often paired together—a study in the Journal of Food Science found that eating cheese may over time increase how much you like the wine you’re sipping.
In the small study, 31 volunteers sampled four wines with and without cheese pairings.
When a piece of cheese was eaten in between wine sips, more negative attributes of the wine were reportedly diminished, with subjects indicating they liked the wine just as much or more.
For the red wines that were sampled, the cheese eating led to a shorter duration of astringency and longer duration of red fruit aroma leading to a perception of better taste.
What this means: If you drink wine, particularly red, you might enjoy it more if you pair it with an ounce or so of cheese (you’ll get some calcium too). Some good cheese picks are mozzarella, feta, and Camembert.
If you do partake, consider the importance of portion sizes and make sure to budget for both wine and cheese A serving size of wine is 4 ounces, although most wine glasses hold two-plus servings.
When it comes to which alcohol is good for health, wine has many proven benefits. But it’s still important to drink in moderation, as over-imbibing can easily outweigh any health benefits that you might be getting.
- Is Drinking Alcohol Part of a Healthy Lifestyle?, The American Heart Association
- Choose MyPlate, The U.S. Department of Agriculture
- Dietary Guidelines for Alcohol, The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Perceptions, Information Sources, and Behavior Regarding Alcohol and Heart Health, The American Journal of Cardiology
- Use of Multi-Intake Temporal Dominance of Sensations (TDS) to Evaluate the Influence of Cheese on Wine Perception, Journal of Food Science
- A study in Journal of Nutrition
What are your thoughts about which alcoholic drink is good for health?
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