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A cocktail a day keeps the pounds away and other health benefits of alcoholic drinks

Beating stress is always a good way to increase your health, and according to Dr. Lu Wang of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, wine, cocktails, and/or beer daily may help women to lose weight or at least not gain weight like their non drinking contemporaries.

A 13 year study finds that women may gain less weight over time if they drink wine. Average-weight women who drank one or two servings of alcohol daily appeared to gain less weight and had a lower risk of becoming obese than those who did not drink or those who drank too much, according to a report in the March 8 Archives of Internal Medicine.

There are also some other health benefits for women consuming one glass of an alcoholic beverage daily. The key is moderation, of course.

Benefits include:

  • Reducing your risk of developing heart disease
  • Reducing your risk of peripheral vascular disease
  • Reduce your risk of dying of a heart attack
  • Possibly reduce your risk of strokes
  • Reduce your risk of getting gallstones
  • Possibly reduce your risk of diabetes
  • Reduce the risk of gaining weight over time
  • Stress relief

Risks of over indulging include:

  • Cancer of the pancreas, mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus and liver, as well as breast cancer
  • Pancreatitis
  • Sudden death in people with cardiovascular disease
  • Heart muscle damage
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Cirrhosis of the liver
  • Miscarriage and fetal alcohol syndrome
  • Injuries due to impaired motor skills - Don't drink and drive!
  • Depression and suicide

The bottom line is to consume no more than one glass of wine, beer, or a cocktail per day. More than that can cancel out any health benefits provided.

The Austin Chronicle recommends the Top Cocktails of 2009.

Enjoy!

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