1. If you don’t drink, there’s no need to start.
For some people—especially pregnant women, people recovering from alcohol addiction, people with a family history of alcoholism, people with liver disease, and people taking one or more medications that interact with alcohol—drinking can be dangerous and harmful to health. There are other ways to boost your heart health and lower your risk of diabetes, such as getting more active, staying at a healthy weight, or eating healthy fats and whole grains.
2. If you do drink, drink in moderation—and choose whatever drink you like.
Chose wine, beer, or spirits. Each seems to have the same health benefits as long as consumed in moderation, which means no more than one drink per day for women, and no more than two drinks per day for men.
3. Take a multivitamin with folic acid.
Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate, a B vitamin that may help lower the risk of heart disease and cancers of the colon and breast. Those who drink may benefit the most from a folate supplement, since alcohol moderately depletes our body’s stores of the vitamin. The amount in a standard multivitamin—400 micrograms—is enough, when combined with a healthy diet. To learn more, visit The Nutrition Source’s vitamins section.
4. Ask your doctor about your drinking habits.
If you (or your friends) think you may have a problem with drinking, talk to a doctor or other health professional about it. He or she can help.
5. Choose a designated driver.
If you’ve been drinking alcohol, make sure you have an appointed driver – someone who hasn’t been drinking – to take you home, or call a cab.