Should you avoid alcohol to improve your health?

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Tis the season of celebration and alcoholic drinks abound. But should you avoid alcohol to improve your health?

If you are one of the many people trying out a low-carb diet, you may want to rethink your intake of alcoholic beverages. Some alcoholic beverages, like some craft beers provide 12 grams of carbs, other fancy fruity drinks like Pina Coladas can add 32 grams of carbs. Some of these drinks can rival sugary sodas in numbers of carbs.

Not all carbs are bad for you. Non-starchy vegetables, fresh fruit, and legumes are all sources of carbs. Fruits and vegetables provide fiber and legumes provide protein in addition to carbs. But when they come from empty calories like sweets and alcohol, it’s hard to argue they are part of a “healthy” diet.

In some parts of the world, wine is considered part of a healthy diet. Inhabitants in the Blue Zones in particular seem to live a long and healthy lifespan and include wine as part of their daily intake of calories. Used socially and not in excess, wine does provide resveratrol, an antioxidant shown to be heart-healthy. On-the-other-hand, the alcohol itself is not healthy for your liver. I think the key is not in excess.

If you’re not opposed to alcohol, beverage companies are coming out with spritzers and other low-alcohol drinks (including some draft beers).

If you do choose to abstain, there are many non-alcoholic options including beers and mixed drinks, especially if you find a really good mixologist that knows their craft well.

If you decide to avoid alcohol for improved health or to be sober-curious and need some inspiration, try one of my non-alcoholic mixed drinks and don’t get left out of the fun!