Alcohol Consumption-How much is OK?

How Much Alcohol Consumption is OK?

The reality for alcohol consumption and women is significant. Any more than 7-9 drinks per week for women can lead to breast cancer. I am not an abolitionist.  I do advocate drinking moderately. There is some evidence that moderate drinkers and those who drink just a little have a somewhat lower risk of heart disease and stroke than those that do not drink at all or who drink excessively.  And some of the newer data is looking at whether any amount is a risk.

Here is my take on the current guidelines.

So, what exactly is moderate drinking?

The Heart and Stroke Foundation defines moderate drinking for women as two drinks a day most days to a weekly maximum of ten; for men, its three drinks a day to a weekly maximum of 15.I have to smile when some of my patients try to demonstrate that they drink only moderately by saying they and their husband split a bottle of wine at dinner every evening. I smile only because few people really understand the word ‘moderate’ as it applies to alcohol.Half a bottle of wine is not quite within the bounds of ‘moderate.’ It’s actually two and a half glasses of wine, not two glasses!

The extra half glass of wine can add up.  In fact, it might be wise to limit your consumption of alcohol to considerably below the weekly maximum of 10 drinks.

As I said, I am not an abolitionist, but I will ask you to be careful with your alcohol consumption. Review what you are actually doing when you drink, tally how much you drink in a week—including the weekend bar-b-que and girls’ night out-and please make sure that your glass is not keg-sized. A serving of wine, for example is considered to be 4 ounces, not 6 or 9!

I know for me, I would rather have one or two servings when out for dinner, and that’s OK, as I generally am out for dinner once or twice a week, not nightly. So as we approach the holidays and parties, plan ahead, consider having a spritzer with only 2 ounces of wine, or having most nights with none, so you can have 2drinks at that party and enjoy.


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