Is drinking alcohol good for you? Studies are mixed with some showing moderate amounts of alcohol decreasing inflammation, increasing good cholesterol, and lowering risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
Other studies encourage reducing intake of alcohol even for light to moderate drinkers for improved cardiovascular health.
While it is uncertain whether no drinking or moderate drinking is better, the general consensus is that too much alcohol is bad for anyone's health.
Imbibing more than 2 drinks per day for men and more than 1 drink per day for women can increase blood pressure and triglycerides as well as increase the risk of heart disease, obesity, cancer, and liver disease.
What counts as 1 drink?
5 ounces of Wine
12 ounces of Beer
1.5 ounces of 80 proof Spirit
What alcohol is best for your health and for your waistline? Red wine likely offers the best health benefits because it contains the highest amount of antioxidants and natural plant chemicals, such as resveratrol, which might help lower disease risk. One glass has around 125 calories.
Beer and liquor have been shown to help lower disease risk too, but the calories can range greatly. Light beer such as Budweiser Select has only 55 calories per bottle, while craft beer such as Sierra Nevada’s Stout has 225 calories.
1.5 ounces of vodka has only 96 calories but use caution with sugary mixers like soda and juice which can make the calories soar. A cosmo has around 200 calories, a captain and coke has around 290 calories, and a strawberry daiquiri can be well over 600 calories. Mix with club soda and a fresh lemon or order on the rocks to cut down on calories.
Alcohol stimulates appetite too so watch what you are eating, especially bar food and late night snacks that often accompany libations.
2 tbs olive oil
1 shallot, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 lemon, juiced
1c low sodium chicken broth
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 tomato, diced
1/2 cup roughly chopped parsley
Directions: Scrub mussels under cold water, discard any with broken shells. Heat oil in a 6qt pot and sauté shallots, garlic, and thyme. Add mussels, wine, lemon juice, broth, and red pepper flakes. Cover pot and steam over medium-high heat for 5 minutes until mussels open. Toss in tomato and parsley, cover, and steam 1 minute more until soft. Enjoy!