Friday, December 3, 2010

Don't drink to your heart

Eisha Sarkar
Posted on Hello Wellness on Dec 03, 2010

Moderate is good, too much is bad. Raise a toast with wine or champagne and your friend's party and you're doing your heart a favour. Down a few pegs of whisky at the same do and you're suddenly at risk of heart disease. There's just too much information about alcohol and what it does to your heart that you just don't know what you should do.

The relationship between alcohol and heart health is complex. Alcohol weakens heart muscle and its ability to pump blood (cardiomyopathy). Here are some myths and truths that you should know:

Myth: Drinking red wine is great for a healthy heart and even physicians recommended it.
Truth: Alcohol has nothing to do with reduced rates of heart disease in people who drink red wine. It is actually an antioxidant known as resveratrol in the wine – which originates in the grapes. Wine is laden with polyphenols, a variety of antioxidant that cannot be found in any other alcoholic beverage, that come with some very healthy benefits. It is not the alcohol content in the red wine that is beneficial for your health, but the antioxidants. Want to pack in some resveratrol? Drink grape juice!

Myth: Alcohol eases stress, thus lowering risk of heart attack.
Truth: While you may be drinking alcohol to “unwind after a stressful day”, what you're actually doing is inviting a harmful neurotoxin into your body which can actually cause hormone imbalance, liver damage and lead to other physical and emotional trauma.

Myth: Alcohol is fat-free so my heart's going to be fine.
Truth: The problem with alcohol is not whether it contains fat. Alcohol, whenever taken in, is the first fuel to burn and till that goes on your body does not burn fat. Since alcohol does not store as glycogen, you immediately go back into ketosis or lipolysis (fat-burning) after the alcohol is used up. But if you supply your body with alcohol at regular intervals, the body fats are not used up. Drinking more than three alcoholic beverages a day may actually increase your risk of obesity and consequently congestive heart failure, dyslipidemia (abnormal amounts of lipids in the blood) and hypertension.

 Alcohol is not healthy. You don’t have to actually explain or give reasons for not drinking. There is nothing to be shy about or hide from your friends! Be proud to be a teetotaler because not everyone is as strong as you are.

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