Which Alcohol is Good for Health?

Wondering which alcohol is good for health? Find out which alcoholic drinks can actually be beneficial for you.

A glass filled with Caesar cocktail

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!

Heart health

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.

a platter of cheese wheels with two glasses of wine on the side

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.

One drink is equivalent to 12 ounces beer, 5 ounces wine, 1.5 ounce of 80-proof spirit or 1 ounce of 100-proof spirit, per the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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).

two glasses of white wine on a table

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.

A platter of cheese, fruit and veggies

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.

Final thoughts

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.


Wondering which alcohol is good for health? Find out which alcoholic drinks can actually be beneficial for you.

What are your thoughts about which alcoholic drink is good for health?

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