If you’re in the habit of having a glass of wine with your dinner, you might be doing your heart a favor. Many studies have found that a moderate intake of alcohol reduces the risk of heart disease. The Nurses’ Health Study, for example, determined women who consumed one to six drinks a week had a 12 to 17 percent lower risk of dying from heart disease compared to women who abstained from alcohol.10
Drinking alcohol, whether it’s wine, beer or liquor, raises the level of HDL cholesterol, and it may reduce blood clotting. There is also evidence that antioxidants in wine, especially red wine, may keep LDL cholesterol healthy. Keep in mind that the protective effects of alcohol are most apparent in people over the age of 50 and in those with more than one risk factor for heart disease. If you’re a healthy premenopausal woman, a drink a day probably won’t do much for your heart.
Health authorities do not advise that you drink a couple of glasses of wine a day. That’s because there are too many negative health effects associated with a moderate intake of one or two drinks a day, including increasing your risk for breast cancer.
If you do drink alcohol, keep your intake down to no more than one or two drinks a day. If you are a non-drinker, don’t start now. There are plenty of other nutrition strategies you can put in place to reduce the odds of heart disease.
Alcohol for Heart Disease Photo Gallery
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