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Is Your Daily Drink Ruining Your Diet? How Alcohol Can Fit Into a Healthy Lifestyle

When you think “healthy lifestyle,” some staples instantly come to mind: yoga, organic food, alcohol. Wait — alcohol? That’s right! The folks over at Refinery 29 argue that boozin’ (in moderation, of course!) can fit into a healthy routine, and they’ve come up with a handy "cheat sheet" for making smart choices.

Among R29's list of tips: Eat before you hit the bar. Not only will you slow down your rate of alcohol absorption, you’ll be less likely to indulge in poor food choices after you drink, which can be a major factor in alcohol-related weight gain. Drinking on an empty stomach = inhaling an entire box of mac ‘n’ cheese at 3 a.m. We’ve all been there.

The article also warns about so-called diet cocktails like Skinny Girl, which are only low-cal if you stick to the tiny portion sizes. Shot of tequila? Sure. Shot of cosmopolitan? Silly. You're better off focusing on the mixers, which are the real culprits behind a bulk of the calories in mixed drinks. Skip the sweet stuff like juice or sours mix, and opt for seltzer, fresh fruit (like a wedge of lime), or diet soda instead.

So can drinking actually be considered a part of a healthy lifestyle? According to the Refinery 29 report, some research shows that one serving of alcohol daily can lower both bad cholesterol and blood pressure. But we’re talking one serving, folks. That’s 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits, 5 ounces of wine, or 12 ounces of beer. If you’re drinking any more than that on the regular, you may be veering into unhealthy territory.

Check out the full list of “healthy” drinking tips at Refinery 29.

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05.4.2013 / 08:30 PM EDT by Maria Valiente
Related: Moms, Health

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