AlcoholNumerous studies indicate that a little imbibing can help protect your heart and may lower the risk of diabetes. Other research touts the many benefits of resveratrol, the powerful antioxidant in red wine. One recent finding even showed that older adults who drink alcohol moderately often live longer than teetotalers. “There’s no reason to feel guilty about light drinking,” says Jill Weisenberger, a registered dietitian in Yorktown, Virginia. However, if you’ve had breast cancer, you may want to abstain completely: A new study from Kaiser Permanente, a not-for-profit health-plan provider in Oakland, California, showed that even moderate alcohol consumption is associated with a 30 percent recurrence of the disease.
The middle ground: For most women, moderate drinking means one alcoholic drink daily (men get two a day). A single 12-ounce serving of beer a day is considered healthfully beneficial. Prefer wine? Stick to five ounces (most bottles contain about 25 ounces, or five glasses). If you love a martini, limit yourself to 1½ ounces of liquor in the glass. And, no, you can’t save up your alcohol allowance for the weekend.