Anyone over the age of 21 is eventually going to have to have some hard conversations with themselves about where alcohol fits in a healthy diet. It’s such a prevalent part of the food experience, the social experience, and the celebration experience – it’s important to put it in context every once in awhile with a specific regard to nutrition, diet, and health.
Five categories to consider while you’re on this meditative path about alcohol include where the troubling result of addiction can lead you, what the benefits might be, where social value rests, how to pair alcohol with food, and what to consider while trying to gain or lose weight.
The Troubling Result
When you drink too much, or if you have a genetic disposition toward alcohol, you can fairly easily end up with an alcohol dependency. And once you’ve hit that point, it may be rehab or bust. There are lots of functional alcoholics, but they run the risk of issues with drinking and driving, and also failure of various internal organs over time.
Reading About Benefits
On the other side of that, you can read about the benefits of alcohol. A few times per year, usually around the holidays, you’ll see articles written about how a glass of wine per day has certain specific things that it does for your body that are positives. The only thing to be wary about this, though, is the fact that those suggestions and recommendations change fairly regularly when new studies come out. So take all of that with a grain of salt, and be sure to keep on the mellow side of drinking excessively or too consistently.
Understanding Social Value
The social value of drinking alcohol can be quite high. It’s very ritualized in some social circles, some cultures, and a myriad of traditions. You can opt out in some cases if you have specific health or dietary reasons behind you, but it’s not a bad idea to at least appreciate the concept of bonding during certain celebrations and occasions.
Pairing Alcohol With Food For Experience Sake
With many different types of meals, the actual flavor of various types of alcohol makes a huge difference to the overall experience. There is a fine art to pairing alcohol with meat, with certain vegetable combinations, and with a lot of specifically gourmet food. Learn those combinations, and appreciate the results on a dietary level.
For Gaining or Losing Weight
Alcohol has a lot of calories in it, and they’re all empty. People with a big beer habit have to work especially hard to get rid of those calories. So, if you’re trying to lose weight, your drinking habit may be one of the first things that you want to think about paring down.