Getting to the Heart of a Healthy Diet: Alcohol
- Consult your physician to discuss its benefits and risks given your family history. Certain people should not consume any alcohol, such as pregnant women, people with liver disease, or those who are on certain medications.
- Limit your alcohol intake to one drink a day if you are a woman and one to two drinks a day if you are a man.
- Periodically review your use of alcohol with your doctor. You may need to change your drinking behavior if you begin to consume too much or experience harmful consequences as a result of drinking alcohol.
- Never drink alcohol if you are going to be driving or operating machinery.
- The alcohol or some other substance in alcoholic drinks may prevent platelets in the blood from sticking together. This, in turn, will reduce clot formation and the risk for heart attack or stroke.
- Flavonoids and other antioxidants in red wine may protect the heart and arteries.
- 12 ounces of beer
- 4 ounces of wine—It is important to note that a "glass" of wine usually means 8-12 ounces for most people. However the official size of a glass of wine is 4 ounces or 1/2 of a cup. Measure it once, into your wine glass to see what that amount actually looks like.
- 1-½ ounces of 80-proof spirits
- 1 ounce of 100-proof spirits
American Heart Association http://www.heart.org/
The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence http://www.ncadd.org/
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/
Dietitians of Canada http://www.dietitians.ca/
American Heart Association. Alcoholic beverages and cardiovascular disease. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/Alcoholic-Beverages-and-Cardiovascular-Disease%5FUCM%5F305864%5FArticle.jsp. Updated March 31, 2011. Accessed July 5, 2012.
Coronary artery disease. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated June 7, 2012. Accessed July 5, 2012.
- Reviewer: Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 07/2012 -
- Update Date: 07/05/2012 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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