Hello Loyal Soup People! As many of you know, in this column I often highlight steps we can take to get healthy and minimize the risk of disease. This week I’d like to talk about something that most people overlook – alcohol. Unfortunately, the news really isn’t great. While many like to point to the anecdotal study that links *very limited* wine consumption to heart health, the risks and unhealthy factors far outweigh any benefits.
Did you know that alcohol is a carcinogen? Lots of people paid attention when deli meats were identified this way. But no one really speaks of the fact that alcohol is a carcinogen and has been linked to cancer – specifically mouth, pharynx, larynx, colorectral, and liver. When alcohol and tobacco are mixed, the risks of mouth and throat cancers dramatically increase.
These risks are not only linked to heavy drinkers. When compared with non-drinkers, those who consume over 4 alcoholic beverages per day are anywhere from 50 to 500 times more at risk of various diseases. However, those who have a few drinks per week are also at an elevated risk for disease.
I also haven’t even addressed the extra empty calories associated with alcohol! Avoiding soda and other sugary beverages is great – but if you load up on wine every night, you are adding hundreds of liquid calories to your diet!
I do find alcohol consumption somewhat fascinating. Those who are otherwise extremely health focused – devoted exercisers and healthy eaters – seem to overlook the unhealthy side effects of alcohol. However, if we are truly to face the facts, the healthiest choice you can make is to really limit your alcohol intake.
*NOTE – Soupermom is not a licensed dietitian, doctor, personal trainer, or anything like that. She’s just extremely knowledgeable about healthy living!! But if you slip and fall while taking her advice, it is not her fault!