Healthy Eating Tip #6 – Alcohol in Moderation

“When the first reports appeared linking moderate alcohol consumption with lower rates of heart disease, many scientists thought that some other habit shared by drinkers, not the drinking, accounted for the benefit. Today the evidence strongly points to alcohol itself. Based on the best estimates available, one drink a day for women and one or two a day for men cuts the chances of having a heart attack or dying from heart disease by about a third and also decreases the risk of having a clot-caused (ischemic) stroke.

Like many drugs, alcohol’s effects depend on the dose. A little bit can be beneficial. A lot can eventually destroy the liver, lead to various cancers, boost blood pressure, trigger so-called bleeding (hemorrhagic) strokes, progressively weakening the heart muscle, scramble the brain, harm unborn children, and damage lives.

If you don’t drink alcohol, you shouldn’t feel compelled to start. You can get similar benefits by beginning to exercise (if you don’t already) or boosting the intensity and duration of your physical activity, in addition to following the eating strategy we describe. But if you are an adult with no history of depression or alcoholism who is at high risk for heart disease, a daily alcoholic drink may help reduce that risk. This is especially true for people with type 2 diabetes or those with low HDL that just won’t budge upward with diet and exercise. If you already drink alcohol, keep it moderate.”

                             Dr. Walter Willett
                             Professor of Nutrition, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health

In my next blog I will expand on this quote by discussing red wine versus other alcoholic beverages, as well as the importance of folic acid for female drinkers. Additionally, as a special treat I will include the recipe of one of my favorite winter cocktails! 

Dear friends, if you read this blog you are probably a member of my "What's Toxic?" Facebook group. While I thank you for this, I encourage you to join my "actual" blog here. Blog membership is important for me to achieve support for various upcoming projects I am working on. Simply click “join this site” at the top right of this page, log into your account, and click “follow publicly.”  Thanks so much! =)

                                                                                                      -Shahir Masri, M.S. 


  1. This is Pinky Rhone (Pinky Jacqueline Rhone) from your public health and environment class. I am going to read 2 environmental related blog but liked this blog. I like to drink red wine with my dinner...preferably every night but I've been told no more than 2 glasses per week. a glass of wine is 5 oz...are you also using this quantity/measurement?

  2. I have always heard that drinking a glass of wine a day is good for you. The most interesting and new point I got from this article is that having 1 drink for women and 1 to 2 drinks for men would actually decrease the risk of having a clot-caused stroke.

    The questions I have concerning this topic is that what exactly in the alcohol decreases the risk of the clot-caused stroke? Would it be the fact that alcohol thins the blood so this helps prevent blood clots from occurring?

    Leslie Carter

  3. I joined private and want to join public. How do I do that please?

    1. I am actually not sure exactly. The easiest way may be to just join again using a different email.

  4. My brother used to drink a lot of beer and other alcoholic drinks, no wonder he has been gaining weight. It's a good thing that his wife encouraged him to jumpstart his weight loss goals by doing the 3 Day Military diet. He has to unlearn a lot of destructive eating habits that only add to his weight. For one, alcohol has to go and he was drinking water-infused drink and ordinary fresh water everyday during the diet. His journey was remarkable! See this site for more information: http://3daysmilitarydiet.com/faq/best-drink-for-the-military-diet.html