My dad is still very much stuck on a high carb diet – he is still living in the age where fat is evil and tons of carbs are fine. However, he does follow my advice when it comes to making all his carbs healthy whole grain choices even if he overdoes it on the amount of carbs he eats every day. So over lunch today, we started talking about fad diets, and I asked him about the popular diets when he was a young man.
“Oh, it was the Drinking Man’s Diet!” he said casually as my eyes bugged out. So the diet consists of several tablespoons of safflower oil every day, as well as all the cheese, meats, and vegetables you want – but no bread or pasta – oh and all the booze you can drink: wine, champagne, or beer whatever you like.”
Sounds pretty much like the Atkins Diet to me, minus the wine, beer and champagne, of course. Common sense tells us that drinking all you want can be disasterous for your liver and your overall health, but what do doctors say is safe and even potentially healthful when it comes to drinks?
Most health professionals recommend one drink a day for women and two a day for men, but remember to factor in the calories. Here’s what they mean when they say one drink:
- 5 ounces of wine, around 130 calories OR
- 12 ounces of beer, around 150 calories OR
- 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits, such as vodka, around 120 calories
So what if you skip the drinks all week and have a once-a-week drinking binge instead? Well, studies show that binge drinking – even if you don’t drink regularly – can be extremely harmful to your health, your brain in particular when it comes to permanent memory loss.
Could you be binge-drinking and not even know it? The CDC says that binge-drinking means 5 or more drinks on a single occasion for men (or 4 or more drinks on a single occasion for women), generally within about 2 hours.