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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Top 10 Food Mistakes - #7

cocktails//(© zoomphotographics/UpperCut Images/Getty Images)

Food Mistake #7: You toast your health with a glass of wine or beer
More than 100 studies have found that moderate drinkers have about one-third lower risk of heart disease than those who abstain. But excessive drinking—three or more alcoholic beverages a day, most studies agree—has also been proven to send blood pressure climbing. New evidence shows that even light to moderate drinking on an empty stomach can contribute to high blood pressure risk. In a 2004 study that looked at data from 2,609 men and women ages 35 to 80, State University of New York at Buffalo assistant professor of preventive medicine Saverio Stranges, MD, found that the risk of hypertension was almost 50% higher in people who drank alcoholic beverages without food than in those who imbibed only with a meal.

a glass of wine with dinner//(© Orbit/Masterfile)

Smarter Move

Enjoy that drink over dinner. "Consuming alcohol with a meal slows the rise of alcohol in the blood and speeds its elimination from the body," says Stranges. Together, those effects may help prevent increases in blood pressure. Drinking small amounts of alcohol with a meal is a good idea for another reason. Alcohol is known to help prevent the formation of small blood clots that might clog arteries and cause a heart attack—and which form most often after a big meal.

One more advantage: Alcoholic beverages enjoyed with a meal are usually sipped, not chugged, which means you're less likely to become inebriated. The risks of regular overindulgence include weight gain, depression, and liver and kidney problems—as you can see, there are plenty of good reasons to save your drinking for dinner.


Posted by smartypantz32 :: 6:18 AM :: 0 Comments:

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