Dietitian explains dangers of too much alcohol during holidays

Tuesday, November 27, 2018
Dietitian explains dangers of too much alcohol during holidays
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From drinking on an empty stomach to eating the wrong foods, dietitian Cynthia Sass explains the challenge of drinking too much alcohol during the holiday season.

From October to January there's a host of holiday parties, and with that, there's the temptation to drink more than we should.

"What's considered over consumption would be anything over a moderate amount of alcohol. A moderate amount being one drink a day for women, two drinks a day for men," said dietitian Cynthia Sass.

Sass said one drink equals 5 ounces of wine, one and a half shots of distilled liquor, or 12 ounces of beer.

So it's very easy to go over. Especially for women who don't metabolize alcohol very well and have a different body composition than men.

So your best bet as you approach the holiday season? Be mindful.

"You want to eat something that has protein, fat or both because those two empty out of the stomach slower. So they create a better buffer than, let's say, carbohydrates," Sass said.

She added not eating prior to drinking is a big mistake.

"I've definitely known many people who tell me they save their calories for alcohol. That is a dangerous thing to do. It certainly can make you more intoxicated and maybe even get sick and certainly contribute to a possible hangover next day," Sass said.

She suggests a glass of water with each drink, add another glass before your next beverage and don't discount mock-tails - which have sparkling water, berries and herbs.

"It's very festive, aromatic, delicious," Sass said.

In between mock-tails and regular alcohol, there's now doubly fermented kombucha that is actually 4.5 percent alcohol, which is about half as much as a regular glass of wine.

Sass said it has merit.

"I think if you're going to consume alcohol, and you have the option of having something healthful along with that it's not necessarily a bad thing, if you're going to be drinking anyway," Sass said.