I started writing blog posts about healthy eating for the holidays on October 28. This will be the second one that dealt with the drinking side of the equation. Of course, the principles involved here apply year ’round, not just to the holidays, but since we are in the holiday season, it seemed an appropriate subject.
The holiday spirit includes the imbibing of alcoholic spirits. As it turns out, women with their smaller frames tend to be more vulnerable to the damaging effects of alcohol than men. But, smaller frames doesn’t tell the whole story.
According to the site Alcohol problems and solutions “Women are affected by alcohol more rapidly because they tend to have a higher proportion of body fat than men. As fat cannot absorb alcohol, it is concentrated at higher levels in the blood. Women also have less of a gastric or stomach enzyme (dehydrogenase) that metabolizes or breaks down alcohol before it enters the bloodstream. Because of this, women absorb up to nearly 30 per cent more alcohol into their bloodstream than men of the same height and weight who drink the same amount of alcohol. Women are also usually shorter and lighter than men, further concentrating alcohol in their blood. Therefore, when women of average size consume one drink, it will have almost the same effect as two drinks do for the average size man. If women eat little or skip food entirely, that compounds the effects of drinking alcohol.”
WebMD has an interesting quiz on alcohol consumption that explains, “Women are more vulnerable to alcohol for a variety of reasons. First, women tend to weigh less than men, so a drink delivers proportionately more alcohol. But even in the case of men and women who weigh the same, alcohol hits women harder because they metabolize it differently. Alcohol is diluted by the body’s water content, and women tend to have a lower water content. This means that alcohol is not as diluted in their bodies, and their organs are exposed to more alcohol.
Women are at higher risk for negative health consequences of drinking, including liver, brain, and heart damage.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control, “The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, moderate alcohol consumption is defined as having up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men. This definition is referring to the amount consumed on any single day and is not intended as an average over several days. The Dietary Guidelines also state that it is not recommended that anyone begin drinking or drink more frequently on the basis of potential health benefits because moderate alcohol intake also is associated with increased risk of breast cancer, violence, drowning, and injuries from falls and motor vehicle crashes.”
Limiting your alcohol consumption is good for your health and you will likely enjoy the holidays more if you do.