The history of alcoholic drink consumption dates back to 6000 BC. Viticulture was primarily used for cultivation of selective grapes for the production of wines. As per the Australian Bureau of Statistics, around 9.7 litres of pure alcohol were consumed per person in the year 2016.
So, what are the risks? And How much alcohol consumption is considered safe?
The NHMRC (National Health and Medical Research Council) coins a term single occasion of drinking. It refers to the total number of drinks at a single occasion without allowing your blood alcohol concentration to reach zero. The risk of alcohol related injuries increases along with the amount of alcohol consumed on a single occasion.
As per NHMRC, a healthy adult should not consume more than 4 standard drinks in order to keep the chances of alcohol injuries very low from that occasion.
In a publication by ABS, during 2014-2015 nearly 44% of Australians aged 18 years and above have exceeded safe single occasion of drinking limit.
“Remember, less than 4 standard drinks on a single occasion!”
Let’s talk about cholesterol and cardiovascular health in our society. As we are aware that abnormal blood cholesterol is the major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. According to an Australian Health Survey by NHMS (National Health Measures Survey), in the year 2011-12 around 1 in 3 Australians had abnormal cholesterol levels. They quoted exactly as below
“In 2011–12, one in three Australians aged 18 years and over (32.8% or 5.6 million people) had abnormal or high total cholesterol levels according to their blood test results. Yet only 10.1% of this group self-reported having high cholesterol as a current long-term health condition, which suggests that the majority of people with high cholesterol results were either unaware that they had the condition or did not consider it to be a long-term or current problem.”
Should you be concerned when having your stubby?
Here is a mythbuster..
Well, it totally depends on the amount of pure alcohol you are drinking on a single occasion instead of the type of alcoholic drink.
Mild to moderate drinking is considered least damaging as opposed to excessive or binge drinking.
now what is binge drinking?
- According to National Institute of Alcohol abuse and Alcoholism, binge drinking is having 5 or more standard drinks for male and 4 or more for a female on a single occasion.
and what is moderate drinking?
- Consuming 1 standard drink per day for a female and 2 standard drinks per day for a male is considered as moderate consumption of alcohol.
Alcoholic drinks normally contain phytosterols (plant fibres). They can bind with the dietary cholesterol and reduce the absorption of cholesterol from your diet. However, drinks like beer will probably have less quantity of sterols to be beneficial. Red wines are generally considered good for heart health. The plant sterol called Resveratrol contributes to its antioxidant properties. The effects of resveratrol are still being scientifically investigated.
Scotch, Whisky, Rum, Gin or a majority of distilled alcoholic beverages are cholesterol free except flavoured or sweetened drinks.
- Mild to moderate drinking is considered safe in a healthy adult.
- If you are suffering from any co-existing condition then ask your practitioner regarding benefits of reducing alcohol intake.
- Red wine is the only alcoholic drink with good reputation in mild to moderate amount. It is still being scientifically investigated for the health benefits.