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How many bottles are enough?

by Jericho Zafra

CHRISTMAS holidays mark the season of giving – and party-going. But a medical expert said that as Filipinos celebrate reunions, Christmas parties, and other gatherings in time for the holidays, they should remain careful and observant – especially with drinking alcohol.

Melvin Bernandino, a licensed nutritionist and dietitian, said like carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, alcohol contains calories. But it is not considered to be among the “nutrients” since it has seven calories per gram – which is high for a drink. 

“If consumption of alcohol beverages cannot be avoided, it should be taken in moderation per day as indicated in the 2012 Nutritional Guidelines for Filipinos, Bernandino said in an interview with republicasia.

“However, if you cannot avoid beer and sugary drinks, Bernandino said,  “red wine, whiskey, tequila, and hard kombucha are healthier options.” Women should take alcohol not more than one standard drink while men should take alcohol not more than two standard drinks.”

Red wine may contain several other compounds that have the ability to relax the walls of blood vessels and prevent the oxidation of low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, which also known as “bad” cholestero. This is an important early step in the process of the formation of cholesterol-filled plaque, he noted.

There are also a number of short-term and long-term effects of too much alcohol intake, according to Bernandino. These include miscarriage or stillbirth for pregnant women, violence, and road accidents. 

Long-term excessive alcohol drinking can lead to the development of chronic diseases and other serious problems including high blood pressure and different cardiovascular diseases, risks of cancer, particularly in the digestive system, decline of immune system response, dementia, and alcohol use disorders or alcohol dependence, he said. 

He advised Filipinos to eat moderately as this is the time of the year when the country records an uptick in noncommunicable diseases brought about by unhealthy food for the holidays.

“As feasts are approaching, let’s try to prepare healthier foods. Don’t forget to prepare vegetables, different kinds of salad, steamed or buttered vegetables. It’s better to prepare less fatty foods like pork meat or maybe chicken or fish. If it can’t be avoided, still practice eating in moderation,” he said.



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