The Canadian Centre for Substance Use and Addiction recently released its newest guide for alcohol use, with the recommendation that people reduce their alcohol intake.
The guide says that zero-alcoholic drinks have a number of benefits such as better health and better sleep.
Two or fewer drinks per week will likely avoid any major health risks, while three to six drinks elevate the risk of several kinds of cancer.
The guide says seven drinks or more can significantly increase your risk of heart disease or stroke.
Nicole Trautman, CEO of Nourish Health and Wellness, agreed with the guidelines that there is very few, if any, health benefits to drinking alcohol.
“When we consume alcohol, the body will prioritize burning off the ethanol other than doing other functions in the body, like breaking down your food. Basically, if you drink and eat, your body is going to be paused in terms of breaking down that food,” she said.
Trautman said alcohol contains seven calories per gram and it can take the body up to an hour to burn off one ounce of alcohol.
She said alcohol can also affect our mood and our behavior and can lead to high blood pressure, an inflamed liver and a weakened immune system 24 hours after drinking. She noted it will also affect your intake of food.
“Typically, when we drink, we want to eat those dense foods which are going to be those foods that keep you satisfied like deep-fried foods, the candies themselves, and things like that, which aren't going to benefit our health,” Trautman said.
She said if you are to drink, the healthier options are dry wines, clear alcohol like vodka, champagne, tequila, whiskey or gin. For mixes, she said to use low-calorie beverages and avoid drinks like juice or pop.
You can find more information on the alcohol guidelines here.