Alcohol

There is a lot of wishful thinking about alcohol and heart disease. The myth that ‘red wine is good for your heart’ has little basis in science and certainly doesn’t hold true. There is no difference between red and white wine, what matters is how much you drink and how often you drink. The reality is that drinking over the recommended limits for alcohol increases your risk of heart disease and stroke. Too much alcohol will increase your blood sugar readings and increase your weight. People who drink too much alcohol are more likely to have heart muscle disease, abnormal heart rhythms, high blood pressure and stroke. Alcohol is also very high in calories. One standard drink has the same amount of calories as a small bar of chocolate!

What Are the Recommended Limits For Alcohol?

  • 17 standard drinks per week for men
  • 11 standard drinks per week for women
  • You need to have at least three alcohol-free days per week

Remember: These are limits, not targets. If you happen to drink less than this amount, even better!

1 standard drink is:

  • ½ pint of lager, cider, beer or ale
  • 1 pub measure of spirits
  • 100ml (very small glass) of wine

Alcohol and Weight

Alcohol is very high in calories. A man drinking the full 17 drinks per week will take in 1700 extra calories, which can add up to a weight gain of 1 ½ stone per year. A woman drinking the full 11 drinks could gain 1 stone in weight per year (14 lbs.).