MYTH # 9:

A few drinks every day are good for you



This actually is not much of a myth . . . as long as it isn't taken too far. Alcohol in moderate amounts seems to increase the amount of HDL (or "good") cholesterol. This benefit occurs at around two drinks daily (this means about 2 ounces of liquor, 16-24 ounces of beer, or two glasses of wine). Large quantities of alcohol clearly cause damage to the heart muscle. Wines, particularly red wines, and "dark beers" appear to have additional anti-oxidant activities. While these beneficial effects exist, it remains a bit difficult to encourage people to increase their intake of the most abused drug in the world. Other beverages seem to be just as beneficial, without the side effects which plague alcohol. Try a cup or two of tea (particularly green tea), or grape juice.



If you drink alcohol already, you may realize some benefit in your cholesterol levels. However, moderation is clearly in order. Anti-oxidant benefit can be obtained from non-alcoholic beverages as well (and the taxes are lower).

ęCOPY;1997 HeartPoint   Updated December 1998

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