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Drink alcohol in moderation or not at all

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[dropcap]A[/dropcap]lcohol intake in moderate amounts have been linked to health benefit but it gets addictive and highly toxic when we drink too much of it. Ethanol is the active ingredient in alcohol and it affects the body in many different ways.

It directly influences the stomach, brain, heart, gallbladder, and liver. It affects levels of lipids (cholesterol and triglycerides) and insulin in the blood, as well as inflammation and coagulation. It also alters mood, concentration, and coordination. The more you drink and especially above the recommended limits, the greater the risk of developing serious problems.

Does your drinking pattern really matter? One of my clients asked me this question and I thought of sharing with you my answer. Having seven drinks on a Friday or Saturday night and then not drinking the rest of the week is not the equivalent of having one drink a day.

What you drink (beer or wine) is not as important as how you drink. The recommended weekly total may be the same, but the health implications are not. Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to accumulation of fat in the liver which causes inflammation then eventually liver failure.

Your liver processes alcohol and it cannot cope with so much at a time. Drinking more alcohol than the liver can cope with can damage liver cells and produce toxic by-product chemicals. Moderate intake of alcohol means, having one drink a day for ladies and two drinks a day of men.

So how can alcohol affect your health?

1. Chronic alcohol abuse can impair brain function permanently however moderate intake may have benefits for brain health.

2. Alcohol abuse and depression are linked. People may start abusing alcohol due to depression or become depressed from abusing alcohol.

3. Evidence on alcohol and weight gain is mixed. Heavy drinking and beer are linked to weight gain while moderate drinking and wine are linked to reduce weight gain.

4. Moderate alcohol consumption is linked to reduced risk of cardiovascular disease but heavy drinking appears to increase the risk.

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Because each of us has unique personal and family histories, alcohol offers each person a different spectrum of benefits and risks. Whether or not to drink alcohol, especially for “medicinal purposes,” requires careful balancing of these benefits and risks.

If you are thin, physically active, don’t smoke, eat a healthy diet, and have no family history of heart disease, drinking alcohol won’t add much to decreasing your risk of cardiovascular disease.If you already drink alcohol or plan to begin, keep it moderate—no more than two drinks a day for men or one drink a day for women.

So don’t feel pressured to drink alcohol. However, if you do drink alcohol and you’re healthy, there’s probably no need to stop as long as you drink responsibly and in moderation.

READ: 10 ways to manage high blood pressure without drugs
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PHANICE KEMUNTO
PHANICE KEMUNTOhttps://nutriwellsolutions.wordpress.com/
Phanice Kemunto is a Nutrition Consultant based in Nairobi, Kenya. She holds a degree in Foods and Nutrition and a diploma in Management. With years of experience, she provides tailor made lifestyle change nutrition programs for clients with lifestyle disease, weight management programs and educating people through social media, private consultation sessions, health talks and televised talk shows. She can be reached on email at: [email protected] Cell: 0710722808 Facebook: Nutriwell Solutions Twitter: @nutriwell2 Blog: nutriwellsolutions.wordpress.com LinkedIn: Nutriwell solutions
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