Alcohol moderation is key to keeping a healthy lifestyle

Summer gatherings and parties often come with alcohol, but holidays like Labor Day can escalate drink consumption fairly quickly. Moderation is key, especially when it comes to alcohol consumption.

Dr. Diana Bitner, a nationally recognized menopause specialist from Spectrum Health, says alcohol in moderation can lower blood pressure, but too much alcohol in a week can lead to depression, anxiety, weight gain, poor sleep, high triglycerides (a type of cholesterol) and regret. To avoid these unwanted consequences, it is important to have a plan before the party begins.

A plan should start with knowing how many calories each glass of alcohol you consume:

  • 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

To avoid the negative consequences of too much alcohol, low-calorie substitutions such as Ultra-light beer, 1/2 shot vodka in club soda, 2 oz of wine with club soda and an orange slice for a spritzer are great choices to start living a healthier life.

Alcohol drinkers should also exercise every day, even if it's just a long walk any exercise will help burn off the extra calories.

Also limit alcohol to one per day or seven per week, even if it means drinking a club soda with cranberry instead of alcohol. Drinking and eating healthy is the key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle while also continuing to enjoy the simple pleasures in life like alcoholic beverages

To set up an appointment with Dr. Bitner or her staff, call (616)267-8520. Their office is located at 3800 Lake Michigan Dr. NW, Suite A., Grand Rapids. Make sure to visit her blog at

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