We are forever being prompted by the Government to change our drinking, and sometimes with conflicting messages –  ‘Red wine is good for the heart’ …… ‘liver disease is on the increase’???!!!

The latest news is simple, and I like it…….. drink less  and  have three alcohol free days between drinking!  This coincides with a  advertising campaign just launched by the Government which highlights the increased risk of certain cancers by regularly drinking just a couple of large glasses of wine or two pints of strong beer.

Many people don’t realise that two large glasses of wine can contain over six units of alcohol,  if you drank this for just four nights it wouldn’t take much to consume around twenty four units in a week!!

People are used to hearing that excessive alcohol causes liver disease, mouth and throat cancer, but less people realise that it can increase the risk of other cancers such as bowel and breast cancer, and reduce fertility in both men and women. Cancer is a frightening illness, and maybe highlighting these risks will have a bigger impact?

Paul Wallace, Drinkaware’s Chief Medical Adviser explains that “the risk is due in part because alcohol breaks down into acetaldeyde which can change our DNA triggering cancerous cells”.  In addition, alcohol reduces our immunity by depleting vital nutrients, which make it harder to fight cancerous cells.

Other nasties regarding alcohol:

  •  it’s high in calories (around 500 per bottle of wine)
  • it’s dehydrating, causing muscle weakness, poor concentration and decreased metabolism
  • it interferes with blood sugar resulting in anxiety and  consuming more of the wrong foods which can continue into the next day
  • it contributes to poor sleep resulting in fatigue and lethargy

What can you do for your health?

  • Order smaller quantities – half pints or small glasses of wine
  • Drink slower, don’t get caught up in rounds
  • Check the ABV (alcohol by volume) of your favourite drink and change to a lower strength
  • Increase your alcohol-free days, and don’t make up for it at the weekend
  • Make delicious alcohol- free cocktails (mocktails) when friends come round www.pssst.org.uk/mocktails.aspx
  • Keep track of your drinking every week with the www.drinkaware.co.uk/tips-and-tools/drink-diary/  calculator

Is it worth drinking too much??????

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