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Alcohol Awareness Week - Healthy drinking guidelines

Wednesday November 8, 2017 at 9:24pm
Alcohol Awareness Week - Healthy drinking guidelin

Alcohol can cause harm but how bad it really is?  

Alcohol has been shown to cause more than 60 different medical conditions and is the biggest risk factor for death and illness in 15 to 49 years-old. Yearly hospital admissions related to alcohol total around 1.5 million. Men are disproportionally affected, accounting for over 65% of alcohol-related deaths.

How much is too much?  

The general advice is to drink no more than 14 units per week - this goes for both men and women. Try to spread your units evenly across the week, don't save them up for the weekend. It is also best to have some alcohol-free days. Alcohol units are not very easy to wrap your head around as they depend on the alcohol content and size of your drink. One unit equals 10ml of pure alcohol - 500ml of any 5% alcoholic drink contains 25ml of pure alcohol, which equals 2.5 units.  

As a general guide, 14 units equal:

  • 6 pints of 4% beer or cider
  • 6 medium glasses (175ml) of 13% wine
  • 14 single shots of 40% spirit

Is some alcohol worse than others?

If keeping the amount of alcohol you consume within healthy limits is your only goal, counting alcohol units is good enough. If you are dieting however, things look quite different. The more sugar your drink contains, the more calories it has. Therefore, try to avoid sweeter drinks like cocktails, alcopops and cider.  

As a comparison, the average 14 units of each group of drinks contains:  

  • Alcopops: 2,050 calories
  • Cider: 1,250 calories
  • Beer: 1,100 calories
  • Wine: 950 calories
  • Spirit: 850 calories

Struggle cutting down? Try this

Let your family and friends know you are trying to drink less. Also tell them how many drinks you intend to have before you have your first drink.  

Have smaller sized drinks than you would usually have. Half pints instead of pints, small instead of large glasses, singles instead of doubles.  

Choose lower strength or non-alcoholic drinks. There are beers and even wines with less alcohol content than average. And some non-alcoholic beers are actually palatable!

In summary, too much alcohol is bad for your health. If you drink no more than 14 units a week you should be fine and are officially classed as "low risk". Units can be difficult to count so try using an app for your phone or stick to drinks you know the units of.

Further information on alcohol:

NHS - Drinking and Alcohol

Alcohol Concern

» Categories: General Health, Nick Train

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Rugby Osteopathic Centre, 69 Albert Street, Rugby
Warwickshire, CV21 2SN, Tel: 01788 560646, Fax:01788 571318
Email: reception@rugbyosteopaths.co.uk
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