A new study finds moderate amounts of alcohol may be good for many heart conditions.
This study and its results are very interesting. Researchers looked at the drinking habits of nearly two million people living in the UK. They found those who drank in moderation had a lower risk for 8 heart conditions like chest pain, heart attacks, stroke and sudden-heart related death when compared to non-drinkers.
Researchers found non-drinkers had a 12% to 56% increased risk for the 8 heart conditions. They also had a 33% higher risk of unstable angina – that’s when the heart doesn’t get enough blood flow. And they had a 56% higher risk of suddenly dying from heart disease when compared to moderate drinkers.
If you don’t drink, don’t start. Alcohol not only carries a risk of liver disease, but this study found moderate drinking may not protect you against 4 other heart conditions like milder strokes and bleeding in the brain. There are other ways to lower risk for heart disease so here are my prescriptions:
1. Don’t smoke or quit if you do. Using tobacco is a significant risk factor for getting heart disease because chemicals can damage your heart and blood vessels.
2. Get 30 minutes of exercise and movement into your day. Turn the music on and dance around your house, take a walk, or skip the elevator and take the stairs.
3. Chose healthy snacks and meals. Avoid processed foods and enjoy fresh fruits, vegetables and whole-grains as these can help protect your heart.
4. If you drink alcohol, stick to one glass for women and two glasses for men per day. One drink is 12 ounces so don’t think of supersizing your glass size!
The study did not show why alcohol lowers the risk of some heart conditions and not others, but more studies are underway. It’s important to mention that this research showed heaving drinking was linked to an increased risk for heart failure, stroke and peripheral arterial disease because of fatty arteries. So you need to have balance and not overdo alcohol.