The holidays mean family, fun, and gatherings that are either in-person or virtual, and for many, this also means more opportunities for alcohol consumption while celebrating. While alcohol should be consumed in moderation, here are some facts about alcohol use and your health, and some tips for healthier holiday indulging:
Alcohol Facts… Did You Know?
- Recommended daily amounts for Men = 2 drinks and Women = 1 drink
- A standard drink is:
- 12 oz Beer (5% alcohol)
- 8-9 oz Malt Liquor (7% alcohol)
- 5 oz Wine (12% alcohol)
- 3-4 oz Fortified Wine (17% alcohol)
- 2-3 oz of Cordial, Liqueur or Aperitif (24% alcohol)
- 1.5 oz Distilled Spirit (40% alcohol)
- A serving of alcohol is anywhere from 100-150 calories
- 1 bottle of wine (750 ml) has 5 servings
- Heavy alcohol use is defined as more than 4 drinks on any day for men, and 3 drinks for women.
- Burns, drownings, homicides, trauma, sexual assaults, falls and vehicle crashes
- Health Problems
- Liver disease, cardiovascular disease, depression, stomach bleeding, cancers
- May also cause problems with managing diabetes, high blood pressure, and sleep disorders
- Birth Defects
- Fetal alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and other lifelong physical, cognitive, or behavioral problems
- Alcohol Use Disorder
- Diagnosed when a person’s drinking interferes with their daily life
Drink water between alcoholic drinks. This will help slow down the amount of alcohol you are consuming and will help keep you hydrated.
- Mix smarter
- Using lower calorie mixers, such as diet soda, tonic/seltzer water, and even fruit (think citrus wedges) can help keep calories down. Light beer will have less calories than regular beer, and while the “fru-fru” drinks are tasty, they do pack a punch with sugar and calories. Other options that are popular right now are hard seltzers that are lower on sugar, carbs, and calories.
- Offer lighter options
- Get creative with drink recipes that are fun and festive, but incorporate healthier options, such as what was listed above. Don’t be afraid to experiment with a “signature drink” that you know exactly what is going in it and can offer healthier swaps.
- Focus on family/conversation
- While your holiday celebrations will look differently in 2020, it still doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy time with family. Use this time to connect and be present and have less focus on the alcohol.
- Set a limit/moderation
- Enjoy your drinks but also be mindful of your wellness goals and safety while indulging and always have a designated driver if you are traveling!