Alcohol and Nutrition (cont.)

How much alcohol can you safely consume?

Alcohol is clearly not essential in our diet and can end up causing considerable problems. Here are some dietary guidelines for alcohol consumption:

  • Those who choose to drink alcoholic beverages should do so sensibly and in moderation -- defined as the consumption of up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men.
  • Alcoholic beverages should not be consumed by some individuals, including those who cannot restrict their alcohol intake, children and adolescents, individuals taking medications that can interact with alcohol, those with specific medical conditions, women of childbearing age who may become pregnant, those who are pregnant, and lactating women.
  • Alcoholic beverages should be avoided by individuals engaging in activities that require attention, skill, or coordination, such as driving or operating machinery.

The reason that people consume alcohol is clear, but the cost of this consumption is not. Alcohol is toxic to our bodies, and the cost can be irreversible when intake exceeds recommended levels. The damage is not limited to alcoholics, so everyone who consumes alcohol needs to pay attention to how much they are drinking, what they are drinking, and when they are doing so.

Medically reviewed by Martin E Zipser, MD; American board of Surgery


American Counsel for Drug Education

American Diabetes Association

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Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/31/2014