I was talking to a doctor friend about cholesterol and stuff and he mentioned some interesting facts about alcohol: drinking up to 2 units of alcohol per day is good for your health. The numbers I find on the New England Journal of Medicine site are somewhat smaller (1 unit per day) but the effect is proven:
Light-to-moderate alcohol consumption reduces the overall risk of stroke and the risk of ischemic stroke in men. The benefit is apparent with as little as one drink per week. Greater consumption, up to one drink per day, does not increase the observed benefit (NEJM)
As compared with men who consumed alcohol less than once per week, men who consumed alcohol three to four or five to seven days per week had decreased risks of myocardial infarction (NEJM)
Most of you probably knew this, but what he also said is that you can use your weekly quotum (7 to 14 units, depending on the source) in a not-evenly spread out manner. So if you do not drink during the week, you can use your full alcohol allowance over the weekend. Unfortunately, for this piece of information, I cannot find the source or study on NEJM. Darn.
Other stuff that helps: stop smoking
Alcohol consumption was associated with a small reduction in the overall risk of death in middle age (ages 35 to 69), whereas smoking approximately doubled this risk (NEJM)
and eat fish:
The n–3 fatty acids found in fish are strongly associated with a reduced risk of sudden death among men without evidence of prior cardiovascular disease. (NEJM)
So don’t be surprised next time I look angry when someone spoils my “Saumon effeuillé mariné aux trois moutardes” and white Sancerre with cigarette smoke: It’s killing me, that’s why!