According to data from the 2010 report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is currently the leading cause of death in the United States.
This being said, there are several healthy lifestyle factors that have been proven to reduce the probability of contracting some form of heart disease. First, regularly performing a variety of physical activities that exercise the entire cardiovascular system, strengthen the muscle tissue of all primary muscle groups, and promote flexibility, coordination, and balance.
Second, consistently consume a high nutrition based whole foods diet that is rich in vitamins and minerals. In addition, it is important to balance the overall percentages of carbohydrates, fats, and protein as well.
Third, make sure that you dedicate enough time to calm, center, and focus the mind. Ideal approaches to focusing on the wellness of your mind include regularly practicing Yoga, Meditation, or Pilates and ensuring that you consistently receive enough rest, relaxation, and sleep.
Drinking a Beer a Day Reduces Risk of Heart Disease
By now, most health-conscious consumers are well aware of the notion that drinking one glass of red wine per day can reduce your risk of developing heart disease. Until recently, however, it wasn’t known whether other alcoholic beverages could create the same effect.
According to recent studies, drinking a glass of beer each day can similarly lower your risk of developing a cardiological disorder. This beer heart disease reduction link is good news for those who find the taste of beer more palatable than that of red wine.
Moderate Alcohol Consumption Increases HDL Cholesterol
The study results, published just a few days ago in the European Journal of Epidemiology, were based on analysis of 16 different studies involving over 200,000 different subjects. The researchers found that those who drank roughly one pint of beer per day experienced a 31% reduction in their likelihood of developing heart disease.
According to American Dietetic Association spokeswoman Andrea Giancoli, the results are not surprising given that a pint of beer and a glass of red wine contain roughly the same levels of alcohol, which researchers believe to be the common ingredient responsible for the reduction in heart disease risk.
Specifically, the researchers believe that drinking alcohol in moderation will boost your levels of HDL cholesterol, the “good” variety. The study indicated that moderate alcohol consumption could pose other health benefits as well, including a reduction in inflammation.
However, the researchers were quick to point out that drinking beer, wine or any other alcoholic beverage in excess, defined as more than one or two glasses per day, would greatly increase the risk of developing heart disease.
The Case for Beer Over Wine
Giancoli said that moderate beer consumption may be even more health-positive than moderate wine consumption. For starters, beer has a higher water content than wine, and it’s also carbonated. For both of these reasons, beer provides a sense of bloating and fullness faster than wine, making it easier for drinkers to moderate their consumption.
The researchers noted that the heart benefits associated with moderate alcohol consumption do not include drinking spirits, also known as hard liquor. For this reason, it’s best to stick to beer or wine in order to achieve the desired health-positive effects.
Moderation is Key
As with most things in life, the key to achieving the health benefits of alcohol is moderation. According to Giancoli, this means no more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men. For most individuals, anything beyond that would mean more negative health effects than positive ones.
Beer Heart Disease Risk Reduction: The Bottom Line
Drinking either beer or wine in moderation can reduce your risk of acquiring heart disease by up to 31%. However, consuming anything beyond one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men can have negative health effects. Hard liquor doesn’t appear to have any positive health effects regardless of quantity.