At both Christmas lunch and New Year’s Eve dinner, one guest that is never missing is alcohol. In the form of champagne, wine or other liquors with a higher alcohol content, alcoholic beverages are one of the Christmas excesses that have the worst consequences and not only because they cause health complications.
For nutritional purposes, alcohol consumption can be even more harmful than gastronomic excesses. Alcoholic beverages are characterized by being empty calories, that is, they add to the total calories ingested during the day but they do not provide any type of energy that our body can take advantage of. If you drink 200 cubic centimeters of wine you will ingest approximately 200 extra calories, for example. The higher the alcoholic content of a drink, the higher its caloric contribution will be, and if we also think of mixing it with sugary drinks, this will increase exponentially.
As if this were not enough, if the drink is pleasant to the palate, it will be drunk in greater quantity and also eaten, since the combination of flavors will produce pleasure. It can be said that these drinks are capable of distorting our signals of hunger and satiety.
In addition to adding calories to the caloric balance and, with it, being a difficulty for the achievement of the nutritional and sports objectives that have been set, alcoholic beverages promote in a long term obesity and all the health complications that this entails: chronic inflammation, chronic pathologies in the digestive system, diabetes, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease and even cancer.
It is difficult to see how alcohol consumption is so normalized in society despite its negative health consequences. Although society is currently more critical regarding the consumption of sugar, for example, we are still far from relating alcohol to a bad state of health.
If the negative consequences, such as cancer or digestive problems, still seem very distant or unlikely, we can think about the hangover and heartburn that occur the next day if we drink too much: maybe becoming aware of it is the best way to start questioning our relationship with alcohol.
To limit the consumption of alcoholic beverages during dinners, meals and celebrations, a simple trick can be served: if we are in the habit of toasting with wine, it is best to fill that glass once. Meanwhile and in parallel, we must drink and fill the glass of water. When we see that the glass of wine is still liquid, nobody will propose us to drink more.
And finally, and above all for after the dinners and meals, we can bet on the false gin and tonic: in a ball glass, we pour sparkling water, lemon, pieces of fruit… It will be a good idea, but the change is a lot!