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!