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Alcohol – Good or Bad

Drinking one to one and a half pegs (60 to 90ml) of whisky, gin, brandy or rum, 325ml of beer or 150ml dry wine every day has been shown to help control hypertension, increase the HDL, prevent inflammation, improve insulin sensitivity and prevent blood from clotting in the arteries. All these factors protect the body against heart disease. However, this information should not encourage non-drinkers to begin drinking. Women should limit their alcohol intake to 45ml a day. Beer contains carbohydrate and should be avoided when trying to lose weight. If you enjoy drinking beer, drink only half a bottle at a time (325ml). Since beer contains carbohydrate no additional carbohydrate must be eaten at the meal except for what is contained in a bowl of vegetables or a small portion of fruit. A can of beer (325ml) will provide about 150 calories and 14g of carbohydrate. One peg of hard liquor provides the body with about 130 calories. These are empty calories since they contain no nutrients, not even carbohydrate, so blood glucose levels remain unaffected. But these are the calories that the body will use first for energy and those that come from food later will, in all probability, turn into fat. French wine, more specifically Bordeaux wine, contains a substance called resveratol that actually helps to raise the HDL (good) cholesterol; purple grapes have similar properties; both are excellent antioxidants. The French drink wine (elevates their HDL), eat cheese (high protein and low carbohydrate), add plenty of healthy oils to their diet (which also elevate HDL levels), enjoy their food (which consists of mainly salads, vegetables, fruit and non-vegetarian food) and hardly exercise; yet they are among the healthiest people in the world.

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