Okay look, we all know that alcohol ain’t great for us – we’re not deluding ourselves into thinking it’s gonna turn our lives around and turn us from dreary caterpillars into sparkling butterflies.
But the debate over how bad having a cheeky beverage can be is getting clearer, and we wanted to know what the benefits really are of cutting back on the booze. Because caterpillars or not, we should probs know what is going into our bodies.
So we had a chat with dietician and nutrition scientist Nathan Baldwin from Discovery Nutrition to find out how having those late night glasses of wine could affect you.
PTV: Getting stuck right into it, what are the main benefits of cutting back on alcohol?
Nathan: Cutting back on alcohol can have many health benefits. Increased alcohol intake is associated with an increased rate of many diseases, including heart disease, stroke and some cancers. Alcohol and other drinks can provide a lot of energy (or calories) to an individuals daily energy intake per drink, which can significantly impact weight and related diseases long term.
Calories and energy aside, alcohol can decrease the liver and other organs function in energy metabolism for several days after just one occasion of drinking. Practically, this means that more energy from the food consumed will be distributed and stored in the body as fat.
Nutritionally speaking, is there any benefit to drinking alcohol at all? If so, how?
Although some alcohol is more nutrient-dense than others, these nutrients can very easily be consumed from food sources that contain several other nutrients not present in alcohol that are beneficial for our health and will decrease hunger more effectively.
Is there a reasonable amount of alcohol that you can have before it starts to cause health concerns?
Current guidelines suggest that drinking no more than 2 standard drinks per day reduces the lifetime risk of harm from alcohol related disease and injury.
The issue there though, is that a whole bunch of folk don’t actually realise what a standard drink consists of. Reckon you’re doing the right thing by only having one glass of wine? Doesn’t really work that way when it’s filled up
Reckon you can tell what makes a standard drink? Head over to Alcohol.Think Again and measure your standard because oh boy did I get it wrong. It’ll also give you a handy lil’ indicator as to whether you need to think seriously about your drinking habits.
Take it from someone who vastly overestimated what a standard drink looks like (whoops), it’s something to be mindful of. We don’t wanna tell you how to live your life but we do want you to keep on keeping on and hey, if cutting back on alcohol gets the job done then we’re about it.Image: Instagram / @alexhayess