It is much wiser to avoid the detrimental effects of alcohol completely and protect yourself from heart disease with nutritional excellence. For example, even moderate alcohol consumption is linked to higher rates of breast cancer and to occurrence of atrial fibrillation.1 Avoid alcohol and eat healthfully if possible, but if that one drink a day will make you stay with this plan much more successfully, then have it.Reasonable advice—works for me. I don’t drink a lot, but I do drink. When you’re young and single, not drinking can become a social handicap. Now, the reason why I don’t drink very often is because I’m firmly aware of the adverse health effects. More from Dr. Fuhrman:
Dietary Factors That Induce Calcium Loss in the Urine2For most people, the worst side effect of booze is consuming all those excess calories and in Eat to Live Dr. Fuhrman explains, they go right to your gut. Check it out:
animal protein15 Common Migraine Triggers
drugs such as antibiotics, steroids, thyroid hormone
vitamin A supplements
dairy and cheese
salted or pickled foods
Moderate drinking has been associated with a lower incidence of coronary heart disease in more than forty prospective studies. This only applies to moderate drinking—defined as one drink or less per day for women, and two drinks or less for men. More than this is associated with increased fat around the waist and other potential problems.3 Alcohol consumption also leads to mild withdrawal sensations the next day that are commonly mistaken for hunger. One glass of wine per day is likely insignificant, but I advise against higher levels of alcohol consumption.Now, it’s always cool when Dr. Fuhrman’s points get echoed somewhere else. Like this report for example. Anahad O’Connor of The New York Times investigates the claim, Calories From Alcohol Go to Your Midsection. Take a look:
In general, drinking causes weight gain primarily because alcohol slows the body’s ability to burn fat for energy, not to mention that it increases appetite. The effects of alcohol on the midsection are complicated, but studies show pretty clearly that beer, wine and spirits have a greater effect on belly fat in adults who drink sporadically than in people who drink regularly but in small amounts.The investigation concludes that excessive drinking is the likely to cause unsightly belly fat. So, with all this being said, next time your out with friends and one of them offers to buy you a drink, at least you’ve got the facts. Personally, I’ll take a gin martini on the rocks!
In one study published in The Journal of Nutrition in 2003, a group of scientists followed more than 2,300 drinkers and nondrinkers and found — after controlling for a number of variables — that those who averaged a single drink per day had the lowest levels of abdominal fat. Those who drank occasionally but had four or more drinks in one sitting had the greatest levels. Several studies have shown similar results.
1. Wright, R. M., J. L. McManaman, and J. E. Rapine. 1999. Alcoholinduced breast cancer: a proposed mechanism. Free Radic. Biol. Med. 26 (3–4): 348–54; Dorgan, J. F., D. J. Baer, P. S. Albert, et al. 2001. Serum hormones and the alcohol- breast cancer association in postmenopausal women. J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 93 (9): 710–16; Jancin, B. 2002. Just a few drinks raise risk of atrial fibrillation. Family Physician News, January 11: 4.
2. Feskanich, D., W. C. Willett, M. J. Stampfler, and G. A. Colditz. 1996. Protein consumption and bone fractures in women. Am. J. Epidemiol. 143 (5): 472–79; Itoh, R., and Y. Suyama. 1996. Sodium excretion in relation to calcium and hydroxyproline excretion in a healthy Japanese population. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 63 (5): 735–40; Massey, L. K., and S. J. Whiting. 1993. Caffeine, urinary calcium, calcium metabolism and bone. J. Nutr. 123 (9): 1611–14; Harris, S. S., and B. Dawson-Hughes. 1994. Caffeine and bone loss in healthy postmenopausal women. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 60 (4): 573–78; Nguyen, N. U., G. Dumoulin, J. P. Wolf, and S. Berthelay. 1989. Urinary calcium and oxalate excretion during oral fructose or glucose load in man. Horm. Metab. Res. 21 (2): 96–99; Bunker, V. W. 1994. The role of nutrition in osteoporosis. Br. J. Biomed. Sci. 51 (3): 228–40; Sampson, H. W. 1997. Alcohol, osteoporosis, and bone regulating hormones. Alcohol Clin. Exp. Res. 21 (3): 400–03; Villiger, P. M., and R. Krapf. 1996. Osteoporosis of the lumbar spine. Schweiz. Rundsch. Med. Prax. 85 (43): 1354–59; Spencer, H., and L. Kramer. 1985. Osteoporosis: calcium, fluoride, and aluminum interactions. J. Am. Coll. Nutr. 4 (1): 121–28; Wolinsky-Friedland, M. 1995. Drug-induced metabolic bone disease. Endocrinol. Metab. Clin. North Am. 24 (2): 395–420; Melhus, H., K. Michaelson, A. Kindmark, et al. 1998. Excessive dietary intake of vitamin A is associated with reduced bone mineral density and increased risk of hip fracture. Ann. Intern. Med. 129 (10): 770–78.
3. Dallongeville, J., N. Marecaux, P. Ducmetiere, et al. 1998. Influence of alcohol consumption and various beverages on waist girth and waistto- hip ratio in a sample of French men and women. J. Obes. Relat. Metab. Disord. 22 (12): 1178–83.