The slogan “Guinness is Good For You” originated in the 1920’s when people told the company that they felt good after a pint. The company had to stop using the slogan ages ago, but today research indicates that all types of alcohol do hold some health benefits when consumed in proper amounts: moderation.
“Moderation” tends to confuse people, especially when it comes to alcohol. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans (2005) states:
“Those who choose to drink alcoholic beverages should do so sensibly and in moderation—defined as the consumption of up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men.” (Emphasis mine)
“One drink” is the equivalent of ½ ounce of alcohol. This is the amount in 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1½ ounces of 80 proof spirits (rum, gin, vodka, whiskey, etc.).
Can you “save up” your drinks for the weekend or a holiday? No, once you day has past you start fresh with a new day: one drink Friday, one drink Saturday, one drink Sunday, but not three drinks on Saturday if you skip Friday and Sunday – assuming a woman in this case.
Health Benefits: While many people think health benefits only extend to red wine, there are health benefits among all types of alcohol, when consumed in moderation. There appears to be reduced risk of heart disease, reduced stress, increased HDL cholesterol, lower LDL cholesterol and reduced risk of blood clots.
Health Risks: There are still risks however with even moderate alcohol consumption. Aside from the obvious risks of impairment when driving and judgment, there is a potential for increased risk of high blood pressure, hemorrhagic stroke, and potential interactions with medications (both prescription and OTC). In some women, those who consume even one drink per day may have an increased risk of breast cancer.
Finally, all alcohol contains calories! When you consume it, integrate it into your daily calories or you could end up with extra pounds.
Back to Guinness: Because it is a dark beer, like most dark beers and red wine, it contains flavonoids. You can also find flavonoids dark colored fruits and vegetables, and chocolate.
Author’s Disclosure: I have no ties to Guinness, an alcohol distributor, or any Irish Family. I am of German, Belgian, and Scottish descent. Happy St. Patrick’s to all my friends and fans who celebrate!