Dr Al Sears MD says that maybe a little indulgence is OK. Ina recent article on the benfits of moderate drinking he says:
Today, we know that moderate drinking:
- Lowers your risk of dying from coronary heart disease by 32 percent
- Boosts your HDL (good cholesterol) by 10 to 20 percent
- Prevents your blood from clotting, which improves coronary blood flow
- Improves your cardiovascular health and lowers your risk of heart attack and stroke
- Heightens your body’s sensitivity to insulin, which decreases your risk of diabetes (a risk factor for heart disease)
In 2000, Finnish researchers looked at 28 clinical reports on the connection between alcohol and heart disease. They found that the risk of coronary heart disease went down as the amount of alcohol consumed daily went up from zero to 25 grams. (25 grams is roughly the same as 2 alcoholic drinks.)
More recently, at a meeting of the American Heart Association, researchers revealed their findings from a seven-year study of more than 125,000 people. They found that people who have one or two alcoholic drinks a day reduce their risk of dying from heart disease by 32 percent.
They also made the connection between alcohol and HDL (good cholesterol) – noting that other studies found moderate drinkers can raise their HDL by 10 to 20 percent. This is a critical finding, as HDL eliminates bad cholesterol from your body – dramatically lowering your risk of heart disease.
If you’re not sure how to define “moderate drinking,” one to two average size
drinks a day is about right.