Consume Alcohol in Moderation

How much alcohol you drink, and how often can affect your eligibility for individual health and life insurance coverage, as well as how much you pay if your application is approved. Are health and life insurance underwriters unaware of the research touting the many health benefits of moderate consumption of alcohol? Hundreds, if not thousands, of research articles suggest that moderate consumption of alcohol has clear heart and other health benefits. Some even go so far as to suggest that moderate drinkers are healthier than nondrinkers.

What is Moderate Drinking?

Currently, there is some agreement in the scientific community on how to define "moderate drinking." The
2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans defines moderate drinking as up to one drink a day for women or two drinks a day for men.

Examples of
one drink include:
  • Beer: 12 fluid ounces (355 milliliters)
  • Wine: 5 fluid ounces (148 milliliters)
  • Distilled spirits (80 proof): 1.5 fluid ounces (44 milliliters)
In addition, moderate drinking takes into account how fast you drink, which affects your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). A (BAC) of .08 is the DWI limit in all states in the U.S.

What Are The Health Benefits of Moderate Drinking?

Not everyone believes that drinking alcohol is good for your health, but there is a large amount of evidence to suggest that some people may benefit from moderate consumption of alcohol. According to the research,
moderate drinking may:
  • Reduce the risk of developing heart disease
  • Reduce the risk of strokes
  • Reduce the risk of diabetes
  • Reduce risk of gallstones
Other studies claim moderate drinkers have reduced risk of dementia.

Do The Benefits of Moderate Drinking Outweigh the Risks?

While there is increasingly universal agreement among researches on the definition of moderate drinking, it is still up to you to follow the guidelines. Also, even the agreed upon definition of moderate drinking may not apply to everyone equally. Researches acknowledge that your body may react differently to alcohol than someone of the same gender, age, and weight who consumes the same amount of alcohol and at the same rate as you.

Should You Start Drinking Alcohol?

No. Despite the assertion by some, most medical professionals do not suggest that nondrinkers start drinking. There is a concern that people who should not drink may decide it is okay to start. For example, pregnant women, individuals with addictive personalities, and people with health conditions such as liver disease, should not drink alcohol. Also, there are many lower risk ways to improve your health, including regular exercise and
eating more fruits and vegetables. Not to mention, over consumption of alcohol has many risks, such as alcoholism, liver disease, and death.

In sum, moderate alcohol consumption may provide some health benefits. However, if you do not drink alcohol, there is no need to start.
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