You may have heard alcohol has some health benefits, but you should read this before you pick up your next drink.

Alcohol is a double-edged sword when it comes to your health. Light to moderate drinking has been shown to have some cardiovascular health benefits. But heavy drinking can have detrimental effects. With drinking, the amount you consume makes all the difference — and you certainly shouldn’t start drinking for the health benefits.

First, let’s define what a “drink” is. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) describes one alcoholic drink as containing 14 grams of pure alcohol. This is found in approximately:

  • 12 ounces of regular beer, which is usually about 5% alcohol
  • 5 ounces of wine, which is typically about 12% alcohol
  • 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits, which are about 40% alcohol

 

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