How bad is Alcohol for us?
Spolier alert: It's bad.
When I design my healthy eating plans for my clients one of the questions I ask them is s how much alcohol do they drink, and to be honest! And the majority come back and say ‘almost every night’.
Are you one of the majority of people who come home from work most evenings and can’t wait to open a bottle of wine to relax?
We know that drinking too much alcohol is bad for us. It gives us hangovers, makes us feel tired and does little for our appearance, and long term it increases the risk of developing a long list of health conditions including breast cancer, oral cancers, heart disease, strokes and cirrhosis of the liver.
Long term, it increases the risk of developing a long list of health conditions including breast cancer, oral cancers, heart disease, strokes and cirrhosis of the liver.
"Research shows that a high alcohol intake can also damage our mental health, impair memory skills and reduce fertility."
The direct link between alcohol and the liver is well understood – but what about the impact of alcohol on other organs?
Numerous heart studies suggest that moderate alcohol consumption helps protect against heart disease by raising good cholesterol and stopping the formation of blood clots in the arteries.
However, drinking more than three drinks a day has been found to have a direct and damaging effect on the heart. Heavy drinking, particularly over time, can lead to high blood pressure, alcoholic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure and stroke. Heavy drinking also puts more fat into the circulation of the body. Cancer experts say that for every additional 10g per day of alcohol drunk, the risk of breast cancer increases by approximately 7-12%.
For bowel cancer, previous studies show that increasing alcohol intake by 100g per week increases the cancer risk by 19%! And studies on fertility suggest that even light drinking can make women less likely to conceive while heavy drinking in men can lower sperm count.
So how much alcohol is too much? How much can we safely drink? Do you know how many units there are in a glass of wine for example? I don’t…!
Well the NHS recommend:
- Men should not regularly drink more than 3-4 units a day.
- Women should not regularly drink more than 2-3 units a day.
Alcohol after all is a drug and as I mentioned causes number of health issues including:
- Digestive problems
- Spotty, bloated face
- Disrupted sleep
- Short-term memory failure
- Reduced fertility
So here’s my top tips:
- Keep an eye on the number of units you are drinking daily
- Try to have a few days a week without drinking!!
- If you do have a big drinking session drink plenty of water in between drinks and when you get home.
- Avoid wine and beer and have gin or vodka with slimline tonic – if you feel you have to drink!
- Think of the health risks alcohol causes. After all it is only one life we have…
For more information on healthy eating and exercise contact me at nonevans.com