Health & Alcohol

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), with guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO), published their "2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans."  These guidelines are meant to lower an adult's risk of experiencing problems associated with alcohol.

Low Risk Drinking Guidelines

0 per day for those under 21, pregnant, trying to become pregnant, on medication or unable to control their consumption.

Up to 1 per day for women

Up to 2 per day for men

The guidelines state "Up to" because "0" is always an option.  Also, you cannot save up your drinks for the weekend.  This of it like eating...we don't wait all week to eat and then only eat on the weekend.  This would not be healthy for our bodies and would cause a lot of problems.

When alcohol is taken into the body, it does not need to be digested.  Alcohol is absorbed, which means that it enters the bloodstream very quickly.  About 20% of the alcohol is absorbed in the stomach and the final 80% in the small intestines. This is one of the reasons that food should be eaten prior to drinking alcohol to slow down that absorption.

What health concerns are affected by alcohol?

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart Disease
  • Stroke 
  • Liver Disease
  • Cancer of the breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, and colon
  • Anemia
  • Nerve Damage
  • Disruptions in the brain's processing of information
  • Dependence and alcoholism