As a physician, I have counseled many of my patients about the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle during the holidays. Catching up with friends, family and neighbors over a festive cocktail can add to the conviviality of the season, but moderation is essential.
The Federal Dietary Guidelines define moderate alcohol consumption as up to two drinks per day for men and up to one drink per day for women.
Importantly, a standard drink is defined as 12 fluid ounces of regular beer (5 percent alcohol), five fluid ounces of wine (12 percent alcohol), or 1.5 fluid ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits (40 percent alcohol).
Each of these standard drinks contains the same amount of alcohol, 0.6 fluid ounces of alcohol, and each has the same effect on your body.
Be mindful of oversized glassware and the fact that beer, wine and spirits may vary in alcohol content. Use this standard drink definition as your guide and remember there is no beverage of moderation, only a practice of moderation.
Raymond Scalettar, M.D., F.A.C.P., D.Sc.