Thursday, November 28, 2013

Here's to Thanksdrinking


For people concerned with the impact on health our annual, national celebration of partially hydrogenated gluttony, I bring holiday tidings of joy!

Now these joyous tidings are essentially a rerun of a topic I've covered before....namely the idea that not only is drinking alcohol NOT bad for you (the caveat of moderation certainly applies), it is actually good for you.

Well, this post is not entirely a re-run, as I came across two different articles that corroborate the somewhat controversial ideas I've previously covered.

First up, a report in the UK paper, the dailymail: Drinking Doesn't Make You Fat

Anyone who’s ever gone on a diet is told to lay off the booze because it’s high in calories.
And that, of course, must make it very fattening indeed. Go onto the NHS Direct website, and you’ll be told a glass of wine contains as many calories as a slice of cake. Or if you prefer beer, the British Nutrition Foundation reminds you two pints are roughly the equivalent in calories to a full glass of single cream. So you may be surprised to learn that there’s no scientific evidence whatsoever to support the idea that alcohol makes you put on weight.

Does that notion surprise me? Not at all. That article is rather long (read the whole thing!), but it covers several different ideas I've written about before as well...namely that the reason why so many folks consider alcohol fattening is due to it's supposed high calorie content. Problem is, not all calories are equal. And alcohol appears to be one of those substances for which the human body does not metabolize/assimilate the calories in alcohol.

But of course, as I've pointed out many times before, weight gain and weight loss are not the be all, end all of health. Fat or skinny, most people can still gain the longevity benefits of moderate alcohol consumption. Here's the case for it made in another Dailymail article, Alcohol is good for your health:

A businessman goes to his GP. ‘My hands hurt, I get a bit of a pain in my chest sometimes, and I’m beginning to forget things,’ he complains.

The doctor examines him and says: ‘You’ve got a touch of arthritis, possibly mild heart disease, and you may be in the first stages of dementia. How much are you drinking?’

‘Never touch a drop, doctor,’ says the patient proudly.

‘Ah, that explains it,’ says the GP, wagging an admonishing finger. ‘Here’s a prescription for red wine — a quarter of a litre a day.’

Ridiculous? Absurd? A story from the Bumper Book of Jokes for Alcoholics? Absolutely not.

Let me tell you this: if GPs fail to recommend alcohol to at least some of their patients, they should be had up for medical negligence.

That, at least, is the logical conclusion I’ve drawn from an in-depth study of around half-a-million scientific papers about alcohol.

To my surprise, they contained findings that would make any pharmaceutical company uncork the champagne. Except they never will, of course, because alcohol can’t be patented as a drug.

Aaah. Therein lies the rub. Remember, moderate, daily consumption of alcohol is a known factor in increased longevity.

So, in the spirit of this holiday season, I raise my glass and make a toast to you, the readers of this blog and all the other participants out here in these fringes of the anti-establishment arena on teh Interwebz!

On our traditional day of giving thanks for all that is good in our lives, let us also give thanks for our daily dose of the world's best medicine!


Velvet said...


Markku said...

Heh, over here in Finland, at least this piece of information is not being withheld. I once checked just out of general interest if alcohol contains many calories, and the first link I found stated that even though it technically does, it is the kind of calories that the body is almost completely unable to use for energy.

And this wasn't any underground kind of info, as I wasn't even aware at the time that the issue might be political.

sunshinemary said...

Velvet: Cheers!

I'll drink to that!

*clink clink*

mmaier2112 said...

Pouring a bit of Bourbon to raise to you right now...


Anonymous said...

Of course, it's all about context.

When you're actively attempting to lose weight, alcohol consumption is not recommended because your body burns off the alcohol before it will metabolize any carb intake.

Of course, I'm sipping a Sam Adams in violation of my diet right now, so sue me.

ironthumb michaelangelo said...

Keoni, just added this one to the latest Testosterone Linkfest. Happy Thanksgiving!

Anonymous said...

Keoni, I'd love to see an article about certain bodybuilding myths, like you need to eat "good calories" or whatever to gain "quality muscle."

I'm convinced it's total bullshit. I put on a ton of muscle by lifting heavy, smoking weight and eating junk food all day.

I then cut down by stopping the weed and junk food for a month, and was in the most aesthetically pleasing shape of my life. My muscles were defined, hard and looked amazing.

Sereyvorn said...

Cheers to that!

Jace said...

No drinking at all is always more beneficial than the minor benefits that may be present from drinking alcohol. The myth that went around about a glass of wine being good for you was due to the grapes and not the alcohol itself. If alcohol was invented tomorrow it would , and rightfully so, be illegal. Its bad for mental health and society as a whole. People will over indulge, no matter how many times you say moderation. There are barely any warnings to the negative effects of alcoholic beverages on the packaging, no caloric or nutritional information. Also, for someone who portrays such an anti-government persona, alcohol companies have huge sway with lobby groups.

Alcohol is bad for you end of story. Do what you want but don't say its not bad for you, when the cost on society it causes through car accidents, alcohol fueled violence etc etc is so high. Emergency rooms are filled with people who get themselves into shit while they're pissed drunk.

As for weight loss, alcohol contains about 6 calories per gram, while fat contains 8, carbs and protein 4. Alcohol slows your metabolism AND reduces your bodies ability to produce testosterone.

/qoute "Keoni, I'd love to see an article about certain bodybuilding myths, like you need to eat "good calories" or whatever to gain "quality muscle."

I'm convinced it's total bullshit. I put on a ton of muscle by lifting heavy, smoking weight and eating junk food all day."

....this guy probably would have had far better results if he had followed those "myths" and ate clean and avoided alcohol.