Drinking during the holidays; Health tips from Dr. Bitner

Alcohol seems to flow freely at holiday festivities, but what's the difference between moderation and excessive drinking? While people tend to cut loose and drink a little more than usual during the holidays, it's important to keep overall health in mind and not overdo it.

Nationally recognized menopause specialist Dr. Diana Bitner from Spectrum Health, explains the effect of drinking alcohol and how drinking too much can take a told on someone's overall health.

It's obvious that alcohol isn't the healthiest thing to put into the body because alcohol has a lot of sugar in it. When drinking at a holiday party, keep in mind that just one glass of wine or beer has a lot of calories in it:

  • A 12-ounce glass of beer has about 150 calories
  • A 5-ounce glass of red wine has about 125 calories,
  • 1.5 ounce shot of gin, rum, vodka, whiskey or tequila has about 100 calories

Moderation is important to keep in mind while drinking because it can have long term effects on the body and mind. When alcohol is consumed on a daily basis and in excessive amounts, it can cause depression, anxiety, weight gain, poor sleep, high triglycerides (type of cholesterol) and regret from bad behavior.

To avoid such unhealthy events and results, have a plan before the party begins. Decide who will be the designated driver, or limit the amount of drinks consumed for the night.

Dr. Bitner says while staying healthy is important, it's even more important for people to stay safe this holiday season by having a plan.

Dr. Bitner's office is located at 3800 Lake Michigan Drive Northwest, Suite A. To schedule an appointment with her, call (616)-267-8225.

All information was provided by Dr. Diana Bitner, her blog. Read more.

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