A Toast to Good Health

According to Abraham Lincoln, “the problems with alcohol relate not to the use of a bad thing but to the abuse of a good thing.”

This, of course, is not news, but what exactly is a “healthy” drinking habit?

According to a study from the Mayo Clinic, the key is to drink before or with a meal, in a small group setting conducive to conversation and emotional bonding. A glass of red wine with the main meal of the day is an integral part of the traditional Mediterranean diet, which along with proven benefits for cardiovascular health, reduces the risk of depression.

Alcohol is a slippery slope that many cannot safely climb. Health care professionals should not encourage nondrinkers to start drinking. Self-reported alcohol intake is notoriously unreliable, but a glass of red wine with dinner is safe and leads to better long term health outcomes.

Adapted from Mayo Clinic Proceedings, July 2021.

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